Effectiveness of land based conflict management in mining areas: a case study of Buzwagi Gold Mine, Kahama district

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University of Dar es Salaam
Following the liberalization of Tanzania economy in the 1980s, privatization of various sectors including the mining sector was inevitable. It was argued that opening our doors for foreign investors in the mining sector would not only improve our economy but also create new job opportunities for communities which lived in areas where this rich and scarce resource is found. However, less effort was put on scrutinizing and understanding of disadvantages of foreign direct investment on the mining sector on the side of Tanzanians, particularly the communities living in mining areas. What followed was massive land grabbing which resulted to endless conflicts between investors and the local communities. This study intended, therefore, to examine the effectiveness of land conflict management between the mine and the local communities in Buzwagi mine focusing on Mwime village. To achieve the main objective both village authorities and individual households impacted by the land conflicts, and an NGO that has been working in this community to mitigate and manage the conflicts between communities and the ABG were consulted to give their opinions and experiences regarding land conflict management in Buzwagi. From Buzwagi mine at Mwime village, sample households which have been directly or indirectly affected by land conflicts between villagers and the mine was purposely selected for data collection. This technique was used with the intention to focus on communities that are closest to the mine and therefore are most likely to be involved in land conflict with the mine. Findings reveal that neither do communities know about the formal legal procedures of land dispute resolution nor are they satisfied with the way this conflict is handled. It was also evident that there is something wrong with the governance structure since the communities are following procedures of land conflict resolutions designed by the ABG instead of the one provided by the Courts (Land Disputes Settlements) Act, 2002. Over and above, all the findings show that land conflicts between communities and the mine are rooted in the nature of capitalism rather than knowledge of the laws among the local communities. The recommendations therefore have focused on the need to empower local governments to exercise full control over village land with little interference from central government. For the sake of this study the emphasis is on village authorities rather than district authorities. It is also recommended that land conflicts in Buzwagi should not be seen as a result of weaknesses within legal systems and lack of knowledge among local communities only, rather it is a deliberate and organized initiative to plunder resources.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB1778.T34L94)
Buzwagi Gold Mine, Kahama, management, Tanzania
Lyimo, E.D. (2017) Effectiveness of land based conflict management in mining areas: a case study of Buzwagi Gold Mine, Kahama district. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.