Kandeh Sesay: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 February 2020:
Octea Mining Company, operating its Kimberlite diamond mining in the eastern district of Kono, in Sierra Leone may pay huge damages in compensation, after failing to meet its corporate social responsibility to the local community, if the Movement of Affected Property Owners Organisation that has taken the company to the High Court in Kono wins its claims.
It could be recalled that the Movement and the Network Movement for Justice (NMJD) alongside the law firm – C& J legal, asked the High Court in Kono to cause Octea Mining Company to pay compensation for causing damage to farmlands, crops, houses and many other socio-economic disturbances caused in the last few years as a result of continuous mining by the company in Kono.
Chairman of the Movement – Tamba Prince Boima has expressed his satisfaction that the C& J law firm and the NMJD have properly articulated their concerns to the Presiding Judge – Albert Mood.
Lawyers at C&J partners have in their first appearance made their case succinctly to the court but the Presiding Judge had adjourned the matter because lawyers for Octea Mining were absent in court.
In the meantime, Mr.Tamba Prince Boima is calling for a temporal injunction into the operations of Octea Mining to allow them to effectively pay attention to the matter against them by the Movement of the Affected Property Owners.
The NMJD have called on the Movement of Affected Property Owners to exercise patience and absorb all the courage to ensure that the court hears and determines the matter to its logical conclusion.
This is not the first time that Octea Mining is coming under attack from the people of Tankoro for not meeting their legal and corporate social responsibility commitment to the affected communities.
The former Mayor of the Kono New Sembehun Town Council, Saa Emerson Lamin also had a disagreement with the company over the payment of royalties to the Council and the affected communities.
Diamonds were discovered in Kono in the 1930’s but up to date Kono remains hugely impoverished with little or no basic social services.
I think the writer is very much unfair as seen in the article. Let me start by making it clear that Koidu Limited was represented in the court by its Lawyer on the 7 February 2020. As far as the records are concerned, Koidu has been and still remains to be a compliant company and will continue to support the people of Kono in areas of Education, Infrastructure, Job creation etc. I think Articles of Such nature need to be Balanced. Both parties need to be heard and a true reflection of the reality published.
Once, a mother turtle leading the way,turned around,and saw her little ones crawling,and dragging themselves along,and she rebuked them harshly saying; “why are you walking so clumsily behind me?” and they giggled,and replied; “Oh but you asked us to follow in your footsteps dearest mother” (lol) Indeed,every living,breathing thing in existence,has no other choice but to follow diligently in the footsteps of their own kind.
The same thing applies to the perplexing predicament we are facing in our beloved Sierra Leone today; This lawless President, and his unscrupulous government have already set a bad, unsavoury precedent by foolishly,and illegally cancelling the mining licence of legitimate,globally respected,law abiding, investors; Now citizens have become also embolden to do the exact,same thing,in a different way,of course,against all good sense of judgement,and national interest; against prudent reasoning,and priorities for national enhancement,and sovereignty some people are now boldly demanding their own chunk of revenues, designated, and appropriated for the welfare of a whole nation – And why shouldn’t they? The crawling mother turtle has already shown them the way.(lol)
Irresponsible,and reckless actions,are the clearest signals of inadequacy, ignorance, negligence, indifference, highlighting attitudes of poor leadership,and bad governance. Its clearly now time for this government to act mature,and become an unbiased arbitrator between investors,and the mining communities in Kono. We need highly effective, new laws protecting communities, investors, and the interests of government.
This is the first and most important step to take,for mutual understanding to be achieved. Everyone must be made fully aware,on how high,or low the stakes are,and be familiarized with their obligations,and responsibilities involved in the whole nine yards,and more, that make up the entire demanding,but highly lucrative mining process….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
Here I found an interesting link about exploitation in Africa, not only in the diamond mining sector:
“Africa’s second liberation against today’s neo colonialism” – by Gariku Chengu, 25.5.2015 in global research
Can you imagine what has happened to that prosperous, rich agricultural and mining district since 1930? Just big holes for dangerous and poisonous snakes to nest; and polluted ponds for mosquitoes to breed. Malaria and disease everywhere. People must be held responsible one day. There is an absolute abuse of human rights here.
Distressful and frustrating stuff. The lawsuit against Octea is good news although not enough. The so called mining company Octea must behave and do all they could to avoid our decisive mining policies come 2023. One thing for sure come 2023 is, the introduction of the permit system to stop all unscrupulous mining companies and dodgy politician backed miners including Octea from entering Kono City. God bless this interesting article. God bless Mr. Saa Emerson Lamina and all the members of parliament from Kono District. To be continued.
What a shame for the rich mining Kono district. kono has been riped since the NDMC era. So let us stop blaming octea mining. I think Mr Tamba is a new comer in kono district. This district has lacked infrastructure since the 80; so Mr Tamba if you want to sue, why can’t we sue the large NDMC company. This company and the late siaka gov’t ripped off this district. I remember growing up in kono without any electricity; no tap water; no good health care; dusty roads, especially the Yardu road – the center heart of koidu town. So please stop fooling yourself Mr Tamba.