quinta-feira, 24 de março de 2016

Thandi Ntuli on the stage in Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF)-2016

The Pianist  'Offering"


By Estacio Valoi

Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) is the flagship event for the leading events management and production company espAfrika, which has staged and produced several world-renowned events.

Affectionately referred to as “Africa’s Grandest Gathering”, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) is the largest music event in sub-Saharan Africa. The festival, now preparing for its 17th year, is an annual event famous for delivering a star-studded line up. This proudly South African produced event is hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) each year on the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April.

1,2 April the festival annually boasts 5 stages with more than 40 artists performing over 2 nights. The programming - unique to the CTIJF is made up of a 50/50 split between South African artists and international artists respectively. The festival hosts in excess of 37, 000 music lovers over the 2 show days. 

Thandi Ntuli Pianist/Vocalist/Song-writer/Composer playing piano at the age of 4. Time passing she became Award winner, Metro FM 'Best Urban Jazz' Nominee (2015), Mbokodo Award 'Women in Jazz' Winner (2015). Since then she has been going and going. And somehow I was about to blame her parents for taking her into the Jazz and about to ending up in Berkley College years ago for her studies. And has she says while smiling ‘I was offered a scholarship the Berkley in Boston but I turned it down. Purely my choice.”

Rewards and awards,

EV- How is the feeling of going back to some of those five stages?
TN- It’s really rewarding to be going back as a band leader. I had played before with other bands but itis exciting to be bringing my own music project to the festival.

EV-Did you decided to become a Jazz pianist, vocal... were you born with it or the jazz got you on the way?
TN- Jazz did find me on the way. I just remember that all I wanted to do was write music and perform it, I just didn't have the know-how on composing and for some reason I came to realize that I must learn to improvise and that would help... I didn't always know I would play jazz.

EV- Who is Thandi Ntuli the woman, the musician and your philosophy of life?
TN- I am the daughter to two of the most amazing parents, lastborn in a family where my siblings were my first role models, musician (healer....first of myself) , lover of God, life, people, great conversations...but also a bit of a loner. I'm a serial dreamer, an aspiring full time traveler and a magnificent work in progress. My philosophy in life is that I am here on this earth to serve it with my gifts and to remember that I can always get better / do better.

EV- You claim that one thing you like is to improvise. Even though is required a good technic to be a good improvise and saw it in some of your songs. Some people such as the past South African president Nelson Mandela got his freedom in 1994. What is your story of freedom within the jazz world?
TN- I think Mandela got his freedom long before he left prison, the kind of freedom that cannot be contained by prison walls. And I think that is what Jazz does for me. It helps me process parts of my human experience that are often otherwise hidden to me because of the busyness of life. But really it has helped me emancipate myself from a lot of self-inflicted oppression.

EV-I could mention Nina Simone, Alice Coltrane, Diane Schuur, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Shirley Valerie Horn, Eliane Elias Patrice Louise Geri Allen is an American composer, Diana Jean Krall, Keiko Matsui, Lynne Arriale. What are your favorite contemporary Jazz singers?
TN- I enjoy Gretchen Parlato a lot. Locally we have some gems like Nono Nkoane, Siya Makuzeni, Gabisile Motuba, and Spha Mdlalose. The list is endless.

EV- From the one existent “salted fish” how do you end up cooking it with all the ingredients -sing, compose and write your Jazz? What does guide you?
TN- I guess with one ingredient you let yourself be guided by the process of cooking the fish, not relying on what is there but on your own creativity. I am guided by The Source of my creativity and really this is how it is improvising too. Let go and trust.

EV- For how many nights and days have you been cooking your music, of course with all the ingredients?
TN- I am always cooking, never really satisfied, always refining. Even after a song has been recorded. 

EV- About your debut album entitled ‘offering’. What have you been offering ?Which one is your favorite track-the tribute to your grandmother (Sangare, Umthandazo, Lonely Heart, Contemplation, H.T, Uz'ubuye, The Offering, Love Remember, In Between Spaces)?
TN- Its H.T. I used to call her that as a nickname. Her name is Helen Thembekile and she is no longer alive but I wrote the song 3 weeks before she passed.

EV- Various local and international stages, including The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, The Grahams town Youth Jazz Festival and The Calabar International Jazz Festival. And now going back to CTIJF. Are you going to take the Orbit , I mean Benjamin Jephta(Bass), Keenam Ahrends(Guitar),SPHELELO Mazibuno(Drums) Marcus Wyatt(Trumpet/flugel horn) and Spha Mdlalose( vocal) are they going to be on the stage with you?
TN- Yes they will.

EV- You did perform with a such list of some of the best Jazz musicians , from Judith Sephuma, The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Jimmy Dludlu, Thandiswa Mazwai, Nomsa Mazwai, Neo Muyanga, Marcus Wyatt, Steve Dyer, Andile Yenana, Feya Faku, Sydney Mnisi, Bheki Khoza, Themba Mkhize, Sibongile Mngoma, Swazi Dlamini, Franc Paco, Lex Futshane, Tshepo Mngoma, Mike Campbell and the UCT Big Band, Umthwakazi, Spha Mdlalose, Sandile Gontsana, Lana Crowster, Vuyo Sotashe, The Tribe of Benjamin and Lwanda Gogwana Songbook. In this line up I see only two Jazz pianists, Andile Yenana and Themba Mkhize. How was for you to perform with Neo Muyanga, mixing up from story tell, piano …?
TN- Neo taught me so much, even beyond the music. From his innovative style of arrangement to the insight he shared with me on the industry, it was amazing to work with him and have him as a mentor.

EV-Where are the Jazz female pianist and what were the piano skills of noted jazz female musicians who played jazz?
TN- They are there. Few but there. One really amazing young pianist in South Africa is Lindi Ngonelo. I love the dimension of Alice Coltrane's work; I'm also a huge fan of Gerry Allen. It’s an absolute classic and a beautiful composition. One of my favorite by Thelonious Monk. There were many other musicians including Jimmy Dludlu, Benjamin Jephta, Bokani Dyer, Sisonke Xonti and many more. Old songs, new songs and a fabulous band.

EV-Focused on modern Jazz. Anyway, the stones meet each other, but I’m still on the road looking for the other. Why only modern Jazz and who are you main Jazz icons? Or simple still looking for the other inside you. Who is the other?
TN- I just relate to modern jazz a lot. Perhaps because it reflects the times. I love Brian Blade, Terrance Blanchard, Lionel Loueke, Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire and many more.

EV-The African music essence. Not only in terms of Jazz sound, African rhythms. So what is new?
TN- Nothing is ever new in art; I think we are just finding different ways of expressing what has always been there.

EV-What comes into your head when you are on stage?
TN- I always hope the musicians are having a good time. It makes me feel nervous sometime.

EV-Looking to the musicians you played with till now, maintaining the same concept what are you trying to achieve and what can the audience expect from you on the night of your performance in the CTIJF?
TN- The sky is the limit; I want to do so many things. Well yes it can be very hard, especially if you don't know WHY you are doing it. Once that has sorted itself out, everything else becomes about the process.

EV-How do you see the South Africa music industry, market today?
TN- It’s definitely growing and more and more musicians are authentically striving to create music that does not have American identity.

EV- For the festival. What are you going to wear and your hair style?
TN- I am wearing something by South African designer, watch this space!

sábado, 19 de março de 2016

Aldeões Mocambicanos nas escavacoes de rubis “ baleados e abandonados a sua morte”

Os magnatas dos negócios sul-africanos Christo Wiese e Brian Gilbertson operam por trás da Gemfields, uma empresa que tem sido acusado de operar em uma zona "militarizada" na zona rural norte de Moçambique, onde as forças do Estado e uma empresa de segurança sul-africana alegadamente maltrata e mata aldeões. Tudo Isto coloca a questão reivindicativa de que a Gemfields "o que é" o principal produtor de gemas de origem ética "do mundo.

(M&G) Por Estacio Valoi e Gesbeen Mohammad / ZAM
11 Mar 2016

Esta investigação foi parcialmente apoiada pelo fundo da publicação Africa Investigates Collective em parceria com a ZAM magazine como paate das suas investigações transnacionais
"O Meu filho foi baleado pelos homens da Força de Intervenção Rápida," conta-nos Geronimo Potia nos diz. O seu filho, Antonio Geronimo, tem 18 anos e é pratica mineração artesanal, vasculharando a terra na procura de rubis na localidade de Namanhumbir, a nordeste do distrito de Montepuez, em Cabo Delgado. Esta família contou que têm a mineração como seu meio de subsistência. Mas, em abril 2015, Antonio foi morto a tiros, supostamente por agentes de segurança do governo, enquanto ele estava na mineração.

Guardas proteger os recursos de rubi para o seu proprietário, Montepuez Rubi Mining (MRM) - uma joint venture da empresa sediada no Reino Unido, Gemfields, e seu parceiro moçambicano, Mwiriti Limitada.

Quarenta por cento dos rubis de todo o mundo são esperados apartir  desta concessão de 336 quilómetros quadrados. É considerada o maior depósito de rubis do mundo.
Apenas a MRM é permitida a produção e venda de rubis a partir desta região. É um investimento lucrativo para a empresa que detém uma licença de exploração mineira de 25 anos exclusivos sobre a área, concedido pelo governo de Moçambique em Novembro de 2011.

Os magnatas do Sul Africano e empresários parecem ter reconhecido o potencial do depósito de rubi. Os Recursos da Pallinghurst Johannesburg- estão listados, num grupo de investimento em mineração, que é o maior acionista da Gemfields. Seu maior acionista é Sul-Africano bilionário varejo Christo Wiese, com uma participação pessoal considerável em Montepuez. Pallinghurst é presidido pelo ex-presidente-executivo da BHP Billiton e Sul-Africano Brian Gilbertson. executivo-chefe da Gemfields, Ian Harebottle, também é Sul-Africano.
Wiese e Pallinghurst não respondeu a perguntas

MRM iniciou suas operações em este depósito rubi, em 2012. Em outubro de 2015, as operações tinham rendido 75% accionista maioritário da MRM, Gemfields, mais de 122 milhões de doláres americanos em receitas de um leilão.
A Gemfields, líder mundial em pedras preciosas, com um monopólio sobre os famosos ovos Fabergé, juntou-se a MRM numa parceria com um número de indivíduos poderosos ligados ao partido Frelimo , no poder em Moçambique.
Samora Machel Jr, filho do primeiro presidente de Moçambique, é o presidente do conselho de administração da MRM. O diretor-executivo da empresa, é Raime Pachinuapa, um dos filhos de Raimundo Pachinuapa, um ex-comandante guerrilheiro sênior da Frelimo durante a sua guerra contra o domínio colonial Português.

A Gemfields adoptou atriz Mila Kunis como sua embaixador da marca. Em um vídeo pró-motional, Kunis glorifica a Gemfields por sua abordagem ética à mineração de pedras preciosas. "Eles levam muito orgulho na forma como socialmente e eticamente responsável que são. Eu acredito no que eles acreditam ", diz ela. "Eles não apenas dizê-lo por uma questão de dizê-lo."
zona militarizada
Com várias forças resguardando os interesses da MRM, protegendo o depósito rubi contra qualquer um que tenta minerar no local, os moradores dizem que a região foi transformada em uma "zona militarizada".

Em Namanhumbir, onde Geronimo perdeu a vida em 2014, a Força de Intervenção Rápida (FIR), parte da secção das forças especiais do exército moçambicano, ajudou  o MRM garantir que os mineiros não licenciados não entrariam na área de concessão. Os agentes FIR estavam equipados com armas do tipo AK-47 ..
Eles foram recentemente substituído por uma outra autoridade do governo, a Força de Proteção de Recursos Nacional (NRPF). Cerca de 35 agentes NRPF patrulham a mina portando armas de fogo.
Além disso, a polícia moçambicanas tem intervido nos campos de rubi.

Procurador chefe de Montuepez
O procurador chefe da localidade, Pompilio Xavier Wazamguia a cerca das forças para-militares no local disse a nossa reportagem que: "Eu não sei por que, mas nós temos [forças de segurança do Estado] proteger a minha. No meu ponto de vista, deve ser dever da empresa para criar o seu próprio programa de segurança para protecao  ".

A Gemfields argumenta que os agentes de aplicação da lei do governo estão presentes "para defender a lei da terra e para proteger os interesses nacionais do país".
Além de o papel do governo moçambicano em proteger a mina, a MRM usa os serviços da empresa de segurança private, Risk Solutions arkhé, uma subsidiária moçambicana da Risk Solutions Omega da África do Sul.
A sua equipe de 470 agentes garante que os mineiros ilegais são mantidos fora dos campos de rubi. A Gemfields diz que apenas cerca de 3% do pessoal arkhé é que é portadora armas de fogo. Mas os moradores chamam os guardas "Nakatanas" (homens de facão). Os moradores afirmam agentes de segurança arkhé os tem espancando e atira sobre eles. A Arkhe não quis fazer comentários.
Além Arkhe, A Gemfields emprega mais de 100 outros agentes de segurança a quem se diz não estão armados.

A Gemfields contesta que a área se tornou "militarizada".O  Porta-voz Gillian Langmead disse-nos que: "Nossos funcionários de segurança e os empreiteiros arkhé patrulham a área de concessão do MRM para protegê-lo contra a mineração ilegal, e para monitorizar e relatar qualquer outra actividade illegal. Eles são obrigados a fazê-lo de uma forma treinada e profissional. "
Mas os moradores de Montepuez sugerem o contrário.

Mortos e espancados

Com os olhos cheios de lágrimas, Geronimo Potia lembra de como seu filho, Antonio, foi baleado e deixado para morrer na terra vermelha de Namanhumbir. Seu corpo foi levado para casa por seus amigos, contrabandistas estrageiros de rubi, que também arrecadaram o dinheiro para as despesas do funeral e algum para o sustento da família Potia.
"Se não fosse por eles, o corpo do meu filho teria sido deixado lá; não teríamos tinha dinheiro para o enterro ", diz Potia, sentando-se desanimado em seu pau a pique casa em uma aldeia perto da Namanhumbir.

"A empresa não nos ajuda; a polícia não nos ajuda. "

Potia estava com medo de relatar a morte de seu filho para a polícia, acreditando que ele poderia sofrer o mesmo destino. O Ministro do Interior, Jaime Monteiro, que está a cargo da FIR, não conseguiu reagir às alegações da Potia.
Langmead da Gemfields disse que a empresa não estava ciente da morte de Antonio, "Mas vamos, claro, fazer o nosso melhor para investigar [ele] cuidadosamente e prontamente se você é capaz de providenciar com mais informações."
No entanto, ela disse Gemfields estava ciente de um recente documentário da Al Jazeera em que Potia descreveu a morte de Antonio.

Há outros relatos de garimpeiros sendo baleado e deixado para morrer em território MRM.
O procurador distrital Wazamguia revelou que quatro agentes de segurança foram condenados por matar e fotografar um depósito rubi do MRM. Eles incluíram um funcionário Arkhe, dois oficiais de FIR e um oficial NRPF, disse ele.
"Em 11 [outros casos de violência] ainda estamos reunindo provas ... ligados à polícia, FIR e da Força de Protecção do Ambiente que estão todos envolvidos no patrulhamento da mina", disse Wazamguia.
Em uma entrevista, Harebottle disse que ele não sabia sobre a condenação do empregado Arkhe, mas estava ciente de um tiro pela equipe Arkhe: "[O atirador] foi preso e após investigação foi definitivamente considerada inocente porque um grande grupo de pessoas estavam atacando-o com facões ", disse ele.

Langmead reconheceu dois incidentes "de disparo de mineiros ilegais por pessoal de segurança contratado pela MRM, incluindo Arkhe", mas acrescentou que a polícia tinha investigado e limpou o acusado. Ela também se referiu a dois casos em que agentes da FIR foram condenados por atirar e matar mineiros lá - não está claro se estes estavam entre as convicções listados por Wazamguia.
"Gemfields plc nega categoricamente a inferência de que ele aprova ou sanções actos de violência", disse ela. "Nem Montepuez Rubi Mining Limitada, nem seus directores, funcionários e contratados estão envolvidos em violência ou intimidação contra as comunidades locais."

Ela sugeriu alegações de violência na mina eram "às vezes instigados por negociantes e intermediários, cujo acesso à rubis ilícitos é impedida pela presença do MRM".
Mas um Wazamguia visivelmente irritado objetou: "As pessoas estão sendo violentamente violadas. Eles estão sendo brutalmente espancado ... os números falam por si. "

Os moradores alegaram que a Nakatanas, "trabalham para os brancos", usando varas de madeira para bate-los nos joelhos e outras articulações de modo que "eles não possam trabalhar".
Em uma entrevista, um adolescente disse que ele "foi espancado pelos brancos 20 vezes em minhas nádegas com um bastão", e que seus amigos tiveram que ajudá-lo a caminhar para o hospital.
Ele e outros alegou quando são apanhados escavação, os guardas também tomar seu dinheiro e fazê-los limpar seu escritório.
Wazamguia sugere que "a empresa deve conversar com as pessoas que trabalham com ele para que eles possam parar de assediar o povo".
Nem sempre é claro quem sejam os agressores até que a investigação foi concluída. Mas Wazamguia acredita que MRM tem a responsabilidade de investigar as alegações de incidentes na sua concessão rentável. MRM insiste que não investigar.

luta séria

Um vídeo produzido pelo Instituto Gemológico da América (GIA) caracteriza uma cena vívida de mineiros aparentemente ilegais na concessão da MRM fugindo como tiros tocar para fora. A gemologist apresentando o filme diz: "Eles estão atirando [inaudível] para torná-los com medo."
Um funcionário MRM diz no vídeo: ". Nós estamos lutando a sério" Quando a poeira assentar, o apresentador diz: "Eles estão vindo com um [um motor da terra], a fim de remover todos os poços de mineração para que os mineiros não voltem. "

Um policial que nos falou sob a condição de anonimato, afirmou que a MRM ordenou forças estaduais para usar "todos os meios" necessários para manter mineiros ilegais longe de seu território.
"Nós temos que seguir as ordens, por isso, atirar, e às vezes acabamos acidentalmente acertando alguns deles na confusão."
A Gemfields afirmou "categoricamente que os garimpeiros não estão sendo filmados", porque eles são garimpeiros em território MRM 'e as forças de segurança não estão matando-os' em nome de MRM ' ". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Dy5pzRWXkI

As máquinas de escavação

Nas aldeias próximas ao depósito de rubi, muitas locais relataram incidentes semelhantes ào que envolveu Antonio Potia.
Os Pacores de Namanhumbir viviam os rendimentos de rubis seu filho, Manuel Artur, extraído na área. Manuel foi baleado no mesmo dia em que Antonio morreu. mineiros companheiros vieram contar a seu pai, Artur Pacore, que os membros da patrulha FIR atiraram no estomago.
"Eles disseram que ele se arrastou para fora do depósito de rubi e se arrastou por cerca de cem metros. Em seguida, ele morreu. "Como Potia, Pacore disse que estava com muito medo de denunciar a morte de seu filho para a polícia.
Langmead disse que a empresa não estava ciente da morte de Manuel.
Alguns mineiros artesanais acredito que eles também enfrentam perigo mortal de máquinas de terraplenagem do MRM.

Um mineiro local chamado Abdul afirmou que seu primo foi enterrada viva por ma-chines da empresa. "Ele estava trabalhando com outros dois em um buraco de três metros. Eram cerca de 100 me-tres longe de nós, ainda trabalhando, quando eu e outros voltaram para casa. Nós escondemos quando ouvimos as máquinas que vem. Depois de um tempo voltamos a olhar para eles. Em seguida, vimos as máquinas. Eles foram preenchendo o buraco em cima deles ".
Mas Langmead negou veementemente esta conta. Ela confirmou que a empresa não preencher escavações ilegais, mas diz que "um processo rigoroso foi posto em prática para garantir que nenhuma MRM 'cavando máquina' já matou um mineiro ilegal, seja por acidente ou intencionalmente".

Em muitos lugares, a concessão de rubi do MRM é perfurado com poços estreitas, muitas vezes mais de três metros de profundidade, escavado pelos mineiros artesanais. Muitas vezes, é difícil dizer se os mineiros estão trabalhando neles. E a instabilidade do solo faz com que ele a entrar em colapso, enterrando mineiros vivos sem MRM tendo qualquer responsabilidade.
Wazamguia diz: "Não há nenhuma evidência de que a empresa tenha deliberadamente feito tais coisas.
"Eu não estou dizendo que [afirma que as pessoas estão enterradas por equipamentos MRM são] verdadeiras ou falsas. Pode ser verdade, mas o que nos é dito é que essas pessoas estão mortas devido ao colapso do solo. Ela exige uma investigação completa, mas não temos os meios para chegar ao local a tempo de testemunhar tais eventos. "

Pedras baratas

Sem a proteção de suas próprias autoridades e temendo que eles poderiam ser mortos, centenas de garimpeiros artesanais pararam de tentar apanhar rubis. Eles agora estão colocando granadas em redor de mina vizinha de nkata, que se encontra fora da concessão da MRM.
Entrando em nkata ao entardecer, encontramos centenas de homens cobertos de poeira vermelha, carregando picaretas, voltando do trabalho. A área de mineração é dispersada com escavações de entre três e 14 metros de profundidade.

Um trabalhador chamado Issufo, que já trabalhou aqui por mais de três meses, não quer voltar para Namanhumbir. "Eu estava cavando rubis dentro de um buraco quando a FIR chegou. Disseram-me para sair. Quando eu saí do buraco, um deles me um tiro na perna ", disse ele.
Infligido em julho de 2014, as feridas onde a bala entrou e saiu a perna direita ainda são visíveis.
Langmead disse que a empresa nunca ouviu falar de Issufo: "No entanto, a descrição eo calendário do incidente não corresponder com os nossos registros, salvo que entendemos FIR foram dispersar um grupo hostil de mineiros ilegais, quando um dos mineiros foi baleado na perna por um membro da FIR ".

Issufo diz mineração granada é muito menos rentável do que cavar para rubis. "Eu não encontrar o suficiente para fazer algum dinheiro", diz ele. "Eu tenho cinco filhos e nada para levar para casa para eles."
O Ministro de Terra, Ambiente e Desenvolvimento Rural, Celso Correia e Pedro Couto, recursos e energia Mineral Ministro, se recusaram a comentar as alegações descritas.

Boxe: O grupo de mineração Sul Africano
Embora ela está listada em Londres e executado a partir de lá, casa de mineração Gemfields tem fortes raízes sul-Africano.
O seu accionista maioritário, segurando a 48%, é Pallinghurst Resources, que é dominada pelo Sul Af-riquenho tycoon de varejo Christo Wiese e seus companheiros Saffer, legenda mineração Brian Gilbertson.

Segundo o relatório anual mais recente da Pallinghurst, diretor não-executivo Wiese possui menos de 20% da empresa. Não há nenhuma sugestão de que ele tem algum papel em suas operações.
Um funcionário no escritório de Wiese disse ao telefone que ele "não tem tempo para responder", mas ela forneceu um endereço de e-mail para que perguntas foram enviadas. Ele não respondeu.
Gilbertson, que fundou Pallinghurst e detém uma participação de 3%, corre o patrimônio de recursos naturais em Vestor como seu presidente executivo. Ele disse Gemfields está se esforçando para se tornar a De Beers de pedras preciosas.
Pallinghurst porta-voz Jos Simson se refere a todas as perguntas para Gemfields. Esta semana, a mulher no escritório do Gilbertson disse que seu assistente pessoal iria fazer contato, mas eles não (confirme novamente na manhã de quinta).

Sul Africano nascido empresário Ian Harebottle é o executivo-chefe Gemfields e a face pública de suas pedras preciosas "de maneira ética". Na África do Sul, ele já trabalhou como consultor para muitas empresas de mineração. Ele é proprietario de  1% do minerio explorado.

O filho de Gilbertson, Sean, é um diretor-executivo da Gemfields. Sean tem trabalhado para Rio Tinto e Glencore International, depois de receber uma educação universitária na África do Sul. Ele tem uma reputação como um negociador formidável outro representante de mineração de industry.Pallinghurst a bordo do Gemfields em um papel não executivo é Finn Behnken, que tem um número de identidade do Sul Africano e estudou e trabalhou aqui.
Pallinghurst parece ter um interesse adicional em Gemfields através de uma entidade Ilhas Cayman registrado chamado Investec Pallinghurst, uma subsidiária da empresa de investimento Sul-Africano-nascido Investec. Com uma participação de 12,6%, esta entidade paraíso fiscal é o terceiro maior acionista Gemfields '.
Investec não responder a perguntas.

Antes de iniciar as operações em Moçambique, MRM prometeu benefícios para as comunidades locais e estabeleceu um programa de responsabilidade social corporativa. Mas os moradores afirmam agora muitas de suas promessas não se concretizaram e acusam a empresa de "terra legalizada agarrando".

Os moradores dizem que um centro de saúde em questão, crucial para a luta contra o aumento dos níveis de HIV, ainda não foi construído. Em vez de reabilitar totalmente uma escola, disse provincial administrador do distrito Arcanjo Cassia, a empresa deu um edifício antigo da época colonial Português ", uma nova camada de tinta".
MRM gaba de que ele já perfurou 11 poços de água potável, mas em algumas aldeias estes não estão trabalhando, os moradores dizem. Eles se queixam de que a empresa leva água de suas represas aldeia para limpar seus rubis
Cassia diz: "Nós não recebem nada. Nada!"

Mas Gemfields diz que fez mais do que qualquer outra empresa teria feito numa fase tão precoce de tal operação em grande escala. Ele diz: "A responsabilidade social empresarial sempre foi e continua a ser uma prioridade fundamental para MRM."
Ele aponta para outra escola que diz foi construído, a instalação de iluminação, a distribuição de frangos para moradores e outros projetos.

Plano de reassentamento da empresa reuniu-se em particular a resistência, e alguns afirmam que a polícia persegui-los fora de suas casas por agredir-los e queimando suas casas. Um homem local diz: "A empresa vem e diz que a área pertence a eles."
Gemfields nega isso. Porta-voz Gillian Langmead disse: "Não reassentamento de qualquer Vil-lage tem ocorrido até agora. Qualquer reassentamento futuro, provavelmente, só envolvem a única aldeia de Ntoro ".

Ela confirmou que as estruturas foram queimadas, mas negou que a empresa desempenhou um papel. Ela culpou a destruição no conflito entre colonos ilegais e aldeões.
Em uma entrevista separada, no entanto, A Gemfields, na pessoa do seu director executivochefe Ian Harebottle confirmou que as cabanas de residentes "ilegítimos" foram queimadas, mas somente depois que eles foram forçados a deixar pela polícia. "Não aldeia legal ou habitação legal já foi incendiada", disse ele.
Alguns dos moradores agora se referem a Namanhumbir como "El Dobrado" - "a cidade em colapso" - a cidade dourada mítico "El Dorado".

"A empresa vem e diz que a área é sua pertença."

Plano de reassentamento da empresa encontrou resistência por parte da população , e alguns afirmam que a polícia perseguiu –os , tirando-os da s suas casas agredindo-os  e a posterior  queimou as casas. Disse um aldeão: "A empresa vem e diz que a área pertence a eles."
Gemfields nega isso. Porta-voz Gillian Langmead disse: "Não reassentamento de qualquer vila tem ocorrido até agora. Qualquer reassentamento futuro, provavelmente, só envolvem a única aldeia de Ntoro ".

Ela confirmou que as estruturas foram queimadas, mas negou que a empresa desempenhou um papel. Ela culpou a destruição no conflito entre garimpeiros ilegais e aldeões.
Gemfields executivo-chefe Ian Harebottle disse que as casas dos moradores "ilegítimos" tinha sido incendiadas  depois dos moradores  terem sido forçados a sair pela polícia. "Nenhuma aldeia legal ou habitação  foi incendiada", disse ele.
Alguns moradores agora se referem a Namanhumbir como "El Dobrado" ou "a cidade em colapso" - um abastardamento da cidade dourada mítico El Dorado. –

 Sul Africanos (SA) profundamente enraizados na empresa

Embora esta esteja  listada em Londres e executado a partir de lá, o epicentro  da mineração Gemfields tem fortes raízes sul-Africanas.
O seu accionista maioritário, com 48%, é Pallinghurst Resources, que é dominado pela Sul-Africano tycoon de varejo Christo Wiese e lenda da mineração Brian Gilbertson.
De acordo com o relatório anual da Pallinghurst, diretor não-executivo Wiese possui pouco menos de 20% da empresa. Nada sugere que o mesmo desempenhe algum papel nas operações da Gemfields.
Um dos funcionário no escritório de Wiese disse que ele "não tem tempo para responder", mas forneceu um endereço de e-mail para onde as  perguntas foram enviadas. Contudo,  ele não respondeu.

Gilbertson, que fundou Pallinghurst e detém uma participação de 3%, corre o investidor recursos naturais equidade como seu presidente executivo. Ele disse Gemfields está se esforçando para se tornar a De Beers de pedras preciosas.
Pallinghurst se refere a todas as perguntas Gemfields e disse Gilbertson não quis comentar separadamente.
O  Sul africano  nascido empreendedor e antigo consultor de mineração Ian Harebottle é o Chefe  executivo da  Gemfields e a cara pública de suas pedras preciosas " eticamente adquiridas" e proprietário de   1% mineiro explorado.
Sean ,  filho de Gilbertson,  é um diretor-executivo da Gemfields. Sean trabalhou  para a Rio Tinto e Glencore International, e, tem uma reputação como um negociador formidável na indústria de mineração.

Pallinghurst é outro representante no corpo directivo da Gemfields e Finn Behnken com identificação Sul Africana, com seus estudos e trabalhado naquele Pais não ocupa nenhum cargo executivo.
Pallinghurst parece ter um interesse adicional em Gemfields através de uma entidade Ilhas Cayman registrado chamado Investec Pallinghurst, uma subsidiária da empresa de investimento Sul-Africana  Investec. Com uma participação de 12,6%, esta entidade representativa no paraíso fiscal é a terceira maior accionista da Gemfields. A Investec não quis responder as perguntas. - Estacio Valoi & Gesbeen Mohammad

quarta-feira, 16 de março de 2016

Ruby Plunder in Montepuez

By Estacio Valoi

In Montepuez, the richest ruby deposit in the world, a local general pockets his proceeds of an UK-Mozambique ruby mining partnership while artisanal miners get shot by local Special Forces. And whilst the multinational’s headquarters respond to questions and concerns, the Mozambican government simply stonewalls.

Estacio Valoi (Mozambique) and Gesbeen Mohammad (UK)

Only foreign criminals, Tanzanians and Somalians, cared for Geronimo Potia’s 18-year-old son Antoninho when he was shot by the security agents who patrolled his village. The security was guarding the rich ruby resources on behalf of their owner, Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM), a joint venture between UK-based Gemfields and Mozambican Mwiriti Limitada, which has strong connections to the Mozambican government.
In the eyes of the company, the government and the men who shot him, Antoninho was a thief. MRM held the license for ruby mining and therefore the fact that the young man was digging rubies from his own soil, near the village where the family has lived for generations, did not matter. Antoninho had been declared as much a criminal as the foreign smugglers, who had come to buy the stones from him.

Left to die on Namanhumbir’s red soil on 19 April 2015, his body was carried home to his father by his Tanzanian and Somalian buyer friends. The same smugglers also went around collecting money for the burial and to support the family. “If it wasn’t for them, my son’s body would have been left there, we wouldn’t have had money for the burial,” says Geronimo Potia, sitting despondently in his sticks-and-mud home in Muaja, a village close to the Namanhumbir mining area. His eyes well up with tears. “The company did not help us. The police did not help us. Only the foreigners helped.”
On the same 19th of April 2015 that Antoninho died, fellow miners came to tell Artur Pacore that men of the FIR (Força de Intervenção Rapida, Rapid Intervention Force) - a Special Forces section of the army - had shot his son, Manuel, in the abdomen. “They said he dragged himself out of the ruby deposit and crawled for about a hundred meters. Then he died.”
Far away in London, MRM headquarters express concern about the killings. In a lengthy response a spokesperson states that the company would have been made aware of such cases if they had been killed inside the MRM licence area after 2012 (1). It promises to investigate thoroughly.

Associated benefits
In the introduction to the response, the company says that it is simply not a good idea for individuals to dig for rubies in Montepuez: “Artisanal miners risk their lives to dig for gemstones at the behest of unscrupulous (and mostly foreign) middlemen who operate a system of smuggling, pay little or no tax to the Mozambican government, and profiteer at the expense of local people,” MRM says, adding that “this mining is unregulated, unsafe, exploitative and opaque.” Fortunately, the company concludes, “such activities tend to dissipate over time, and as the benefits of formalised methods of extraction and their associated benefits begin to take shape.” But such benefits have not yet come to Namanhumbir.
Everything in Namanhumbir is red. The soil, much of the dry vegetation, the sticks and reeds of which with the people construct their huts; the wood, the rubies, the dust. Antoninho Geronimo’s murder was never reported to the police, but our sources in the justice department tell us eighteen people have been shot and left to die for digging the riches of their lands and some even for refusing to vacate their lands.

The cases are counted from 2009, when the rich ruby deposits were first discovered in Montepuez province. The first killings are therefore not the responsibility of MRM, which was only given its licence in 2011, but of the Mozambican government, which launched the first police operation against illegal miners in July 2009, shortly after it had become aware of the wealth in the area. But Antoninho and Manuel died in 2015, three years after the ‘benefits of formalised extraction’ were intended to begin to take shape.

The soil and the rubies
The Potias and the Pacores are just two of the fifteen hundred families – altogether roughly nine thousand people whose lives have changed dramatically with the advent of formal mining in the area. Besides mining and farming there aren’t any other sources of income here. For many years (it is difficult to say how many, since the mining was informal), local artisanal miners dug up camada, sand with rubies, from their soil; they sifted it and sold the rough stones to visiting foreign traders.
But in 2009 the stones were discovered in Thailand and traced back to Montepuez. Now, various military-style forces stop the locals from accessing the natural resources in their land. Last year -coincidentally shortly after the killings of Antoninho and Manuel- the FIR was replaced by the National Resource and Environment Conservation Force. Next to these operates the Mozambican Police Protection force, which is also accused of protecting the interests of MRM rather than its own citizens. And then there is MRM’s private security, called Nakatanas, “men of machete” by locals. Officially they are a team of 4750 guards from the Arkhe security company. Most of them carry canes, but a few are armed with firearms.
Montepuez district head attorney Pompilio Xavier Wazamguia says that he is aware of four concluded cases of deaths by shootings and beatings in MRM’s mining area. “The perpetrators were trialled and found guilty.” One of the convicts was a security guard from Arkhe and three were FIR agents – all of whom killed illegal miners. Wazamguia says his department is still gathering evidence for eleven other cases linked to allegations of the security forces murdering illegal miners.

Mozambique’s Minister of Interior, in charge of the Government’s Special Forces such as the FIR, has declined to comment. MRM’s main shareholder Gemfields says that the government forces are on their land “to uphold the law of the land and to protect the national interests of the country”; that they aren’t directed by MRM; that no Arkhe employee contracted to MRM was ever convicted and that “neither Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada nor its officers, staff or contractors are engaged in violence toward or intimidation of the local community.”
Locals in Namanhumbir, however, report that they can’t move freely, under penalty of getting beaten or even robbed. In a report dated July 2015 the local environmental organisation AMA lists complaints of villagers thus: “The Nakatanas and the defence forces stop us from moving around. We cannot use the road that leads to the administrative post (the municipality, ed.) because when they confiscate our money and the goods we are carrying. When we go to cut wood or bamboo, they stop us saying that we are illegal miners. When we are ill we are faced with the problem that we cannot use the road to the clinic.” (2)

Fabergé eggs
Formal mining was supposed to develop Namanhumbir. In 2011, UK Gemfields, a world leader in gemstones with the monopoly on the famous Fabergé eggs, partnered with a number of powerful individuals in Mozambique’s Frelimo ruling party to form the new local ruby mining company MRM. Samora Machel Junior, son of Mozambique’s first president, is the chairman of MRM’s board. MRM’s chief executive officer Raime Pachinuapa is the son of Raimundo Pachinuapa, a former senior guerrilla commander in Frelimo’s erstwhile liberation struggle from Portuguese colonial rule.

In November 2011, MRM acquired a 25-year exclusive mining and exploration license over the area. Since then, its operations have yielded MRM’s seventy-five percent shareholder Gemfields more than US$ 122 million in revenue in auctions alone; an average of US$ 40 million per year. That would be over US$ 10 million per year for the Mozambican partner.
Both partners in the mining operation had promised the villagers of Namanhumbir that mining would be good for them. MRM representatives held a meeting in the area where they explained to the people of the villages in the Namanhumbir area -Mpene, Nseue, , Ntoro and Nanune-that Gemfields would run a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, which was to include a health centre, sports facilities, a school, a village market and two water wells. There were to be formal jobs as well. Most importantly to the local individual miners, the Mozambican side of the partnership promised that they would get concessions to continue their own mining activities. They were to form associations which would sell their stones to MRM, thereby deriving good income.
But it didn’t exactly happen that way.

The smugglers and the women
Nobody seemed to know what to do about the foreign traders and smugglers. For years they had bought the rubies mined by the villagers. But that trade had been informal and was, now that someone held the license, criminalised. The number of smugglers even grew as the news of the vast ruby wealth got out into the world. They are thousands now, the foreign buyers from Somalia, Tanzania, Congo, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Uganda and West Africa. In their wake has followed a service industry of sex workers.
“Women from Senegal, Malawi,Tanzania,” details district administrator Arcanjo Cassia, who is worried about the health implications of the situation. It also impacts local women, he says. Girls have dropped out of school to make a quick buck in sex work. “A young girl will rather go with a man who promises her a mobile phone than go to school. There is now a rise of HIV and Aids in the area. But we have given lectures on disease prevention.” Cassia feels it is all he can do.
The health centre that was promised by the company has so far not materialised. Neither have the water wells, the market, the sports facilities or the school. When asked about this, Cassia shakes his head and laments “We get nothing. Nothing!” In its annual report, MRM’s UK majority shareholder Gemfields says that it did build a market and a school, but according to Cassia, all the company did was to give an old building that was there from the Portuguese colonial era “a new coat of paint.” In response to questions, MRM insists that it really ‘rehabilitated’ the school.
MRM adds further that all the projects are still part of the programme, but that “most companies in this stage of resource assessment phase would prefer to await the completion of their full-scale mining plans before initiating any such programmes.” It maintains nevertheless that corporate social responsibility is its “key priority” and that it programme will “grow commensurately with its operations”.

The burning of houses
Officially, MRM is still fighting only foreign criminals. “We work with the Mozambican government to address the illegal ingress across Mozambique’s borders of foreign citizens seeking to profit from the Montepuez deposit,” stated UK Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle in December 2014. Namanhumbir administrator, Anastasia Clemente, had said the same thing in an interview published on a Mozambican news website in 2012: “Foreigners are exploring and sowing confusion among us, these foreigners are behind all this unrest in the region.”
Locals, however, feel that they, too, have been criminalised. The promised artisanal mining licenses for villagers never materialised. In the same 2012 interview, Anastasia Clemente had blamed the miners themselves for this unfortunate development since ‘they never formed associations.’ But MRM, in its response to us, said that that promise was never made by the company because “prevailing Mozambican law prohibits the trading of rubies by any party other than Mozambican citizens,” which means that MRM, which is in majority foreign company, could not buy the stones anyway (3).
Locals, furthermore, accuse the company of forced removals. Several villagers narrate the burning of houses and fields and the beating of locals in Namucho on 15 September2014. A local man in Namucho says he lost about two hectares of land. “They start digging, they discover ruby, then the company comes and says the area belongs to them.” Another villager, in Ntoro: “The company burns our houses and takes our fields. We are beaten and shot. Every time they discover a new zone with rubies, they chase us out of it.” Locals in the ravaged areas have now turned the ‘El Dorado’ image of Namanhumbir on its head, paraphrasing it to ‘El Dobrado’: the ‘place that has collapsed’.

A dam full of fish
Again, MRM and majority shareholder Gemfields deny both knowledge and involvement in such practices. It generally blames “non-authorised persons (…) seeking to recover rubies” who enter the MRM licence area and establish “informal and unauthorised settlements”. It adds that “MRM does not manage or determine the process of removing such settlements (from the licence area),” and explains that the “police may seek” to do so “after due notice is given”. It says it is aware of a 2014 incident ‘in the periphery of the Ntoro village,” where a fight broke out between villagers and illegal (foreign) miners, during which one side set fire to a number of structures.” (4)
Nevertheless, five villages (Ntoro, Nseue, M’pene, Nanune and Namanhumbir) are located in the MRM licence area. Three of these must, according to a report produced by SRK Consulting for Gemfields in January 2015 (5), be resettled: in the report, SRK recommends a “Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) to move local people who reside on or close to the mining concession area.” The report doesn’t say to where, but locals say they have been told about ‘model houses’ (6) to be built for them in the Nanune area, a distance away.
The environmental organisation AMA estimates that this plan affects 440 families, totalling nearly 2000 people. They should have been relocated there by now, but many refuse to go. “The land is dry and what is to become of the fruit trees we have where we live now?” AMA has recorded some of the objections. When we interview them personally, villagers in Nseue are as determined to stay. “We will not leave this land,” a resident says. “We were born here and so were our ancestors. This is our wealth.”Nseue is a nice place, close to a dam full of fish. In Nanune there is nothing, not even water.

Remarkably, resistance from the communities is impacting on the operations. In late 2015, majority shareholder Gemfields tells us that “any future resettlement will likely only involve the single village of Ntoro (7).”

Dangerous machines
Meanwhile, many artisanal miners still refuse to move from the areas claimed by MRM. Staying put, they face more danger than only from the men with the guns. MRM digging machines, they say, simply move in, whether there are human beings around or not. A local miner called Abdul lost his cousin that way. “He was working with two others in a three meter deep hole. They had already collected a sack of rough camada –the sand that contains rubies. They were about a hundred meters away from us, still working when I and others went back home. We hid when we heard the machines coming. After a while we went back to look for them. Then we saw the machines. They were closing the hole on top of them.”

MRM says Abdul’s cousin might be one of the illegal miners buried by the collapse of his diggings and that miners die to due to “improper mining methods”. “Because illegal miners do not wish to see their excavations filled in, any burying of an illegal miner by his own excavation is quickly blamed on MRM in the hope that MRM will stop the process of filling in empty illegal excavations,” says an MRM spokeswoman.
Montepuez district head attorney Pompilo Xavier Wazamguia acknowledges that communities are forcibly being relocated and that artisanal miners have been driven from their lands. “There are those who now have no fields, no houses, and no income,” he says. Provincial government administrator Arcanjo Cassia acknowledges the many deaths in the area with similar despondency. “We have created a working committee,” he says. “It has already been to the mining sites and is working with the security forces there.”

The wilderness
Meanwhile, hundreds of artisanal miners are too scared to continue working in the MRM area. They are now mining much lesser-valued garnet in Nkata, an area thirty minutes away.
To get there, one hires a ‘taxi’ motorbike and drives through the high grass, seeing little through the dust - only horns protect from a head-on collision with another taxi-bike coming the other way. Again, officials paid by the Mozambican state are here to make life more, not less, difficult. Instead of directing traffic and providing safety, the Environment Conservation Police mans a roadblock as one enters Nkata. The officials demand US$ 2 per person for passage.

Entering Nkata at dusk there are hundreds of men covered in red dust, carrying pick axes, returning from work in the garnet holes. Many sit down to drink tentação, a cheap whisky-type homebrew, whilst women at stalls all around stir big pots of rice, fish and porridge. Loud music blares from all directions. This area stretches out for over a 150 square metres, with holes with depths between three and fourteen meters are scattered all around.
A worker called Issufo has been here for over three months. “But I don’t find enough to make some money,” he says. “I have five kids and nothing to take home to them.” He doesn’t want to go back to Nkoloto in Namanhumbir, where he comes from. “I was digging rubies inside a hole when the FIR arrived. They told me to step out. When I got out of the hole, one of them shot me. In the leg.” The bullet wound has healed since July 2014 when this happened, but the hole is still visible in his right leg: both where the bullet came in and where it went out again.
MRM admits it has a similar incident in their records. “We understand FIR were dispersing a hostile group of illegal miners when one of the miners was shot in the leg by a member of FIR.”
The question remains how Issufo and the other locals of Montepuez ever going to make a living again. MRM has said that 800 jobs have been created in an area where formerly ‘there were none,’ but of all the villagers interviewed, none have told us that they were formally employed. There is also no record of any advertisement of jobs in any of the local media or administrative offices. There have, however, been complaints in Nseue village that local chief Horacio Terencio is making good money by selling cheap labour from locals to the company.

At a recent community meeting in Nseue, Terencio was angrily confronted by villagers: how could he act as a cheap broker, pocketing a nice commission every time, rather than defend the interests of the community? That meeting ended with Terencio jumping on his motorbike and hurriedly leaving the area. But he returned the next day to continue his enterprise.

The law and the general
Formally, there is law and order in Mozambique. Since 2014, a new mining law (no. 20/2014) seeks to safeguard national interests through tax provisions and prescribes that benefits of mining should be extended to communities. It also prescribes fair compensation in cases where citizens have to be resettled, and allows for mining rights for individuals. But so far, the law is toothless: the phrasing of the part about mining rights is still aimed at those who are already wealthy and have the capital to begin a massive mining operation. It doesn’t stipulate which percentage of profits should be destined for community development and it doesn’t address the rights of citizens to livelihood and land.
An even more fundamental question is how this law is going to be implemented when former legal frameworks and agreements are already being broken in Montepuez? Murder, beatings and arson have always been illegal; yet the provincial administrator, the local administrator and the district head attorney – to name but a few- seem powerless to stop these. Likewise, reports abound of policemen and other officials colluding with illegal buying networks and facilitating theft and smuggling (8). Searching for justice, law and order in Montepuez for the past year and a half, these seem largely non-existent.
Local activists around the civil society organisation AMA-Amigos da Terra say they are done trying to talk to MRM. “The company has not been interested in relating to representatives of civil society so far,” says Tomas Langa, AMA’s executive coordinator. “Instead we need to strengthen the communities so that they can defend their interests, both vis a vis the company and vis a vis the Government.” For this purpose, AMA believes there is a need for “interventions that can equip (villagers) with advocacy mechanisms and expertise with regard to the Corporate Social Responsibility that should be part of the activities of Montepuez Ruby Mining (MRM)”. Compensation for confiscated farms and land and economic benefit from mining should also be part of such activities, Langa says.

The General
In a bar in Pemba, a while after he has left Montepuez, a man suddenly sits down next to Estacio Valoi as he nurses his whisky. Estacio knows him vaguely as a lawyer from the area. The man has a message for him, he says. “The people in the mining area have been asking about you.” One of these people appears to be MRM board member general Raimundo Pachinuapa himself. “The General,” the lawyer calls him. He tells Estacio about people who work for ‘the General.’ “They make a lot of money. The General likes to spread his wealth around. He doesn’t even care if the company is performing well or not. There is a lot of money for those who are friends of the General.” Estacio decides not to tell him that he is not a friend of the General at all.

Questions put to Mozambique’s environmental minister Pedro Couto and mining minister Celso Correia have remained unanswered to date.

(1) MRM came into being in 2011 and assumed responsibility over its mining concession area in 2012
(2) From AMA research report (in Portuguese)
(3) See https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2748159-MRM-Gemfields-Response-to-Questions.html. Remarkably, MRM expresses interest in a ‘dialogue’ with government on the issue of a permission to buy rubies from artisanal miners, saying that “the ability of MRM to engage in such trading activities could offer considerable national value.” It also informs us in its reply to questions that the Mozambican government has set aside two areas for artisanal mining, “which are reported to have produced considerable volumes of rubies.” Our team has however not come across such areas, and neither did any of the locals we interviewed over a period of more than a year. Who are mining these ‘considerable volumes’ and where? We intend to follow up on this matter.

(4) https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2748159-MRM-Gemfields-Response-to-Questions.html

(5) See SRK report here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2752153-SRK-Report-on-Montepuez-Ruby-Mining.html
(6) AMA research report https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2748165-AMA-Research-Report-on-the-Namanhumbir-Area.html
(7) MRM response https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2748159-MRM-Gemfields-Response-to-Questions.html
(8) See for example this study on state officials and ruling party involvement in illegal trading and smuggling http://cic.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/kavanagh_crime_developing_countries_mozambique_study.pdf