Man held over illegal mining in Ngororero

On 21 July 2021 at 07:13

A man identified as Bosco Munyandera, 48, was arrested on Monday, July 19, in Ngororero District for allegedly conducting illegal mineral activities.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said that Munyandera, who is part of the group that steals minerals in concessions, was at the time of his arrest found in possession of 1kg of beryl and other traditional tools, which the ring was using to extract minerals.

Beryl is a precious stone used to make jewelry or other adornments.

CIP Karekezi said that the arrest of Munyandera followed a complaint raised by the mining company that owns the concession, about a group of people that was stealing their minerals in the concession.

"Munyandera is part of the group of about seven men, who were sneaking into a beryl mining concession located in Mpara Village, Cyome Cell in Gatumba Sector owned by Ngororero Mining Company (NMC), where they were extracting and stealing the minerals. We are still searching for other six members of the group," CIP Karekezi said.

He warned against such unlawful activities and called for more information on anyone that engages in these criminal and risky practices

"Mining is a regulated business conducted by licensed people or companies. It is also a hazardous and risky practice especially during the process of extracting minerals, which require professionals," said the spokesperson.

The suspect was handed over to RIB for further legal process as the search gor his accomplices is still underway.

Article 54 of the law N° 58/2018 of 13/08/2018 on mining and quarry operations, states that; "any person, who undertakes mineral or quarry exploration, exploitation, processing or trading without a licence commits an offence."

Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of between two and six months and a fine of not less than Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf5million or only one of these penalties.

The court also orders confiscation of any seized minerals or quarry in storage, trading or processing without a license.

Article 166 of the law determining offenses and penalties in general states that any person convicted for theft is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than Rwf1 million and not more than Rwf2 million, community service in a period of six (6) months or only one of these penalties.