By Morison Ansu in Kono
Koidu Holdings operating in Kono is still reluctant to adhere to its promises and recommendations made by the Jenkins Johnston Commission of Inquiry, which came about as a result of the death of two residents of Tankoro Chiefdom Kono district and several others wounded.
In reputation of the Company’s cruel acts against the people of Kono, women of the chiefdom demonstrated against the company for the completion of resettlement and monies which the company had promised to deliver without delay.
Chairlady of the affected women Madam Mariama Sowrie told journalists in Konio that besides the two issues mentioned, they were also promised money for their shrines, a promise that has not been honoured up till now. The present area of occupation by the company has so many issues that has not been properly addressed, according to Marama Sowrie, adding that the company should assist the people for reburial of our ancestors.
Some women in the demonstration revealed that monies allocated for their crops are insufficient compared to what they should derive if they continue with agricultural activities. The women claimed that if one should receive ten million Leones, it will be paid in installments, which they described as unfortunate and not in the agreement.
Most women who participated maintained that their male counterparts support their action, noting that they are not afraid of Police action.
Meanwhile, residents of the Tankoro where Koidu Holdings is operating are again mourning another victim Sahr Gborie Morquee who died at the mining site just recently.
According to report, the deceased and three of his friends had gone to the site to remove ‘tailing gravel’ which is the remains of the washed raw gravel.
Report indicated that the boys who indulge in such practice benefit sometimes from some minor proceeds of diamonds.
However, the site on the concession area is protected by securities of KHL and the Sierra Leone Police armed with automatic rifles. Accordingly Sahr G. Morquee was a former student of the Koidu Secondary School who had applied for job at the Koidu Holdings but was refused.
Sources also revealed that the security personnel who were involved in this act were transferred with no communication. One of the victims’ friends alleged that he was tortured by security personnel’s and thrown in the pool of water around the company. Company sources alleged that Sahr Morquee drowned while he was trying to escape.
The body was taken to the Koidu Government Hospital for postmortem before burial. People who saw the corps said it was partly decomposed, with a broken jaw and arms, and the removal of some teeth which could indicate torture.
Family members of the deceased have requested an investigation.