By Kebba Ansu Manneh
The Secretary General of Kaur Janneh Kunda Village Development Committee (VDC), Kemo Jawara has threatened to resign from his position following a wide condemnation and disapproval of the mining agreement endorsed between the village and Fajara Mining Company.
The embattled Secretary General and team are accused of clandestinely appending their signatures to a twenty (20) years mining contract agreement with Fajara Mining Company at the return of one hundred thousand dalasi (D100,000) per annum without the knowledge and approval of the villagers.
The development triggers the call for an emergency village meeting by villagers on the sidelines of Kaur Janneh Kunda annual Gamo held on the 18th of February 2023, a source who attended the meeting disclosed to this medium.
According to him, scores of attendants including the Kaur Janneh Kunda Youth Development Association (KJYDA), Chairman, Karafa Jobarteh, Marafang Bayo, Diaspora representative, Amadou Janneh among other villagers called for the termination of the contract agreement that was struck between the two parties. They said Fajara Mining Company is yet to present its findings on what type of heavy stones they are mining, and no environmental impact assessment document shown to the villagers as well as the clandestine agreement.
He said the Secretary-General and other members of the VDC have persistently denied making available the contract agreement too many villagers who demanded it, and that it was only at the Gamo meeting that the VDC produced a copy of the contract agreement to villagers who were shocked after reading the agreement.
“The villagers were so shocked and disappointed that the VDC signed such a very low standard contract with Fajara Mining Company. What baffles almost all speakers is how on earth the VDC will sign 20 years contract with Fajara mining at the tune of D100,000 returns per year,” our source further revealed the dissatisfaction of the villagers of Kaur Janneh Kunda.
He added: “The villagers were very disappointed with the Secretary-General who at least posses minimum education to ascertain a good contract. It was a very funny contract that was unanimously disapproved by all the villagers who called for a speedy review or abrogation of the entire contract.”
However, Fajara Mining Company is accused of mining precious stones at Kaur Janneh Kunda under the cover of mining of heavy stones that they grind for export to Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria with millions in return at the detriment of the poor and vulnerable people of the rural settlement that is lacking in all forms of development.
However, in a recent interview with one local Radio Station, the embattled Secretary General, Kemo Jawara has made attempts to clear himself on the numerous allegations leveled against him.
He confirmed that he signed the agreement between the village and Fajara Mining Company at the tune of D100, 000 per annum, arguing that the contract he signed with one Dam Ceesay, representative of Fajara Mining Company was not 20 years for the mining but rather a 10 years agreement.
Jawara continued that the 20 years mining agreement contract that he signed may have been tampered with without his knowledge, noting that he has also decided to resign from his role as Secretary General as he feels he can no longer serve in a dormant VDC.
“I have decided to resign from the VDC because I believe it is time to give way as the VDC is dormant and I am also on out posting as a headmaster in Sami. Even though the villagers are not happy I signed the 10 years contract in good faith,” Kemo Jawara disclosed in a recent interview with Adama Fadera of Home Digital FM.
Efforts to speak to the CEO of Fajara Mining Company proved futile as villagers further accused the company of bribing the villagers with a milling machine and football gear in their efforts to win the heart and minds of the benefactors.