Rwamagana - The Governor of Eastern Province Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, has given Rwanda Minerals Company a three-week ultimatum to conform to international mining standards.
Dr Kirabo issued the ultimatum , yesterday, during a tour of casseriterite mining sites.
Reacting to irregularities of cassiterite mining in Musha and Mwurile sectors of Rwamagana District, the Governor pointed out that the miners work in one of the most potentially hazardous conditions and without appropriate gear, like helmets.
“I am giving Rwanda Minerals three weeks, to comply with international protective norms. They must observe the simple but important safety rules at all times to avoid potential hazards such as injury and death,” Kirabo said.
Mbaga Tuzinde Mbonyimbuga, the mining firm’s manager promised to abide with the ultimatum. He, however, asked the authorities to curb fraud that is greatly affecting the company’s performance.
“There is coordinated fraud involving some authorities. We recently discovered tons of casseterite in the house of one of those involved in fraud, but we received no help and it vanished,” Mbonyimbuga said.
A resident of Musha, who preferred anonymity, said that a number of stakeholders were involved in the fraud, including the company’s staff.
“It is very disgusting; some local leaders, miners and their bosses are engaged in the fraud. No single miner uses protective masks, they have started hiding miners who die, when mines cave in and collapse over them,” he said.
Cassiterite was discovered in the area in 1930, but mining started in 1973.