The Chief Executive Officer of Koidu Holdings (KH) Jan Joubert has decried the threat to administer short sleeve or long sleeves by illegal miners as an “insult to the people of Kono.”
Jan Joubert made these comments while addressing visiting journalists last week.
The KH CEO noted that soon after the elections and the change over of government
“their seems to be a lot more civil disobedience and it seems like the general population is using politics as a road to hide behind for their illegal activities and the civil disobedience”
This statement was made against the back drop of increasing illegal mining activities. Mr Joubert disclosed that within that short period of time they have experienced “a total of nine illegal diamond mining” activities in their concession.
As a result he said “we notified all the authorities, we notified the police, the resident mining engineer etc etc we notified the Paramount Chief, (but) none of these authorities are able to actually put the situation under control”
Meanwhile he lamented “they are encroaching into our concession more and more and more and the situation is getting out of hand.”
“These illegal diamond mining activities” he said “the organizers are hiding behind the current ruling party.”
The unsavoury aspect however is that “the people working in these pits are very very aggressive and lawless” he maintained.
“When they are confronted they refer to aggression they actually go as far as to throw threats that you would associate with the previous rebel war” adding “they would say what do want, you want the short sleeve or the long sleeve?”
In a very serious manner the Koidu Holdings CEO admonished journalists that “We may laugh at it now but the seriousness of this and the implication of this is not something that you can talk away, write away or hide away.”
He warned “a foreign investor coming in to the country has only seen this country mostly on the television or in the movie and then the report in CNN or BBC wherever they saw it was negative, now they step in into a society that is desperate people that are very poor and with poverty you get a level of lawlessness you get a level of the civil disobedience you understand that but you don’t expect the threats that were thrown around during the war to be thrown around you when you come to actually better the lives of the people.”
Looking very serious and touched, the Namibian born CEO said “so when people say today what do you want short sleeves or long sleeves I don’t think it is a laughing matter I think it is a serious insult on this nation and it’s even a worst insult on the people of Kono because we as people of Sierra Leone would like to move beyond that, that past – war is something we would like to forget so when people bring it back to us I think they are doing you a disgrace.”