Dear Dr. Magufuli
The following is an extract of the threat letter that was received from Acacia Mining lawyers in London called Quinn Emanual.
The Company is acutely aware of the importance of developing its assets in a responsible manner to aid in the development of Tanzania and of its local communities who benefit from its operations. This has included over $35 million of direct investments into the Company’s local communities over the past three years.
The Company requires its directors, officers and employees to conduct their affairs to the highest possible ethical standards and to operate at all limes in accordance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.
In short, Acacia is proud of its very substantial economic and human investment in and contributions to Tanzania and its people, and wishes to develop its business lawfully in Tanzania to the benefit of all stakeholders and in close cooperation with the Government of Tanzania.
The damage you are causing to the Company’s business directly affects Tanzania, through harm to its reputation and impact to the Company’s taxation contributions to the Governments revenues and all of the Company’s other stakeholders, including its employees (most of whom are local Tanzanians), its local communities, and its shareholders.
In the event that you do not cease and desist, we are instructed to commence such proceedings as are necessary to seek disclosure of your identity, injunctive relief, damages for losses caused to our client and reimbursement of court costs and lawyer’s fees. Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable.
The sadness in this threat letter is that these super-intelligent and high power millionaire lawyers sitting in their luxury offices in London don’t even know what their clients are doing in our country. They prefer to receive instructions from rich clients like Acacia Mining and send threat letter to ladies who earn salaries a fraction of one percent of their fees to Acacia Mining and then threaten us that we will have to pay them for damages and losses to Acacia Mining reputation? That is both funny and bizarre.
Last month around 13 January, The Guardian reported in their Tanzania ippmedia website an article with website heading:
POVERTY ABOUNDS VILLAGERS SHARING BORDERS BARRICK GROUP.
It is a very sad but real article about our “Mining Bad Boy”, Acacia Mining. The article is written by another BRAVE journalist, Neema Mugheni.
As you can read online, Neema received some money from the Tanzania Media Fund (TMF) which gave her the possibility to research and write the article. Here are a few paragraphs of Neema’s article online:
For about a score (20) of years the mine has been in operation as the miners ferry whatever they mine abroad, leaving little and big caves in the country.
What has been worse is the pathetic situation of the villagers that surround the mine, who live in abject poverty, while many go without jobs, safe water, good schools and even proper medical care due to lack of well founded infrastructure.
The funny thing is that gold is gone and the residents still remain where they are. Many stories have been filed about this gold mine in northwestern Tanzania, and big international awards won from the reports, but life of the wananchi has littly changed.
One of the journalists who have filed reports on this lopsided state of affair is Neema Mugheni, a reporter with Kahama FM, a community media based in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region.
She did so after she received funds from the Tanzania Media Fund (TMF) to enable her to probe the reasons behind the poverty engulfing the villagers bordering Africa’s biggest riches.
The TMF verifying team which visited the area found that during her assignment, she visited three villages namely MWIME, CHAPULWA and MWENDAKULIMA where she interviewed many villagers in the areas.
Among them were the ward council chairperson Emmanuel Pius, Kahama District Municipal Director Anderson Libumba, the District Commissioner, as well as the District Medical Officer at the health centre whose infrastructure, was at the time, in a very pathetic situation. Areas of focus for her programmes were jobs, social services such as health, water supply as well as the infrastructure.
During her interviews, complaints were abound by residents, especially youth that they had no jobs. According to them, only a few lucky ones were employed as security guards.
During the interview, the Village Executive Officer Vicent Ndesekio that lack of pertinent skills was partly the reason why many residents in the area were going without jobs.
Samantha Cole did not write this article about the terrible POVERTY of our People around Acacia Mining. But it is nothing new and our People are talking more and more about it in Tanzania. They talk so much about it that Acacia Mining choose to pay US$ 2 million for TV and radio and newspapers to make adverts about how wonderful is Acacia Mining.
You see how poor is Acacia Mining’s opinion about Tanzanian’s that they think they can make national propaganda for US$ 2 million and that will fix the poverty of our communities? And the TV adverts will bring our People clean water? And will the newspaper adverts fix the damage to our environment? President Magufuli, you have lead your Nation into a NEW Tanzania. These Europeans are still living in the times of colonization.
With all their billions of Dollars, you would think they realize this mistake?
President Magufuli, will these London high power lawyers also send to the Guardian and IPPMedia the same threat letters that they sent to AllAfrica.com?
And will our friend, Neema Mugheni also receive a threat letter like they sent to us?
And Emmanuel Pius, Anderson Libumba, Vicent Ndesekio and others who dare to tell the truth about the real situation around the gold mines? Will they also receive a threat letter like they sent to us? And how can Deo Mwanyika, Vice-President of Acacia Mining, look in the eyes of any Tanzanian and justify this terrible bullying and intimidation?
The threat letter they sent us states we are causing damage.
Who is responsible for all the problems of Barrick Gold and Acacia Mining? Did Samantha Cole cause such problems?
Did we ask Barrick and Acacia to do tax evasion?
And they murder and rape our People?
And they denied that maybe as many as 52 of our people in 1996 were victims of forced evictions and BURIED ALIVE at the Bulyanhulu gold mine in Tanzania?
The list goes on and on and on and on… these ‘innocent mining angels’ who wrote in their threat letter to me how WONDERFUL they are to our Nation BUT really, they are not and our People woke up and we all say : TUMECHOKA
That is what Samantha Cole is doing and Acacia Mining demand that we (all our group around the country) must stop OR ELSE they will start legal action and make me pay for the damages.
We wrote many times we need international companies here and we pleaded with Barrick Gold boss and Acacia Mining boss to work in Tanzania with a WIN-WIN relationship for our People.
That is the OPPOSITE of causing damages. That is promoting cooperation.
On Friday (2 days ago), there was a report on the website of African Intelligence. They wrote that the Minister of Mines in Kenya, Dan Kazungu, remains skeptical unconvinced about Acacia Mining in Kenya.
Africa is changing. The Nations are seeing the realities much more clear than before.
Facebook and social media is helping us to understand the problems better on a national level.
President Magufuli, what better way is there for the Wananchi (our Nation) to be a living part of the development of the NEW Tanzania if not through knowledge and understanding?
The Late Mwalimu, Julius Nyerere taught:
You cannot develop people. You must allow people to develop themselves.
This is what is happening in the NEW Tanzania and Barrick Gold and Acacia Mining cannot accept this. And what will happen when they bring Endeavour Mining to their table as well?
Should our Nation be afraid?
No threat letters are necessary. No bullying and no intimidation. No fear and no pressure. God blessed our country with gold. President Magufuli, we all remember your speech from June last year where you said it was better to stay with the country’s precious gems even for a thousand years, insisting that it was not a sin to leave the pits for the next generation. Barrick Gold and Acacia Mining must thinking that you were making jokes because they don’t recognize your strategy at all.
Time is here and now for changes to make a WIN-WIN situation for the People of Tanzania and the mining companies.
God bless you and our People and our Country.