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Yamfo Farmers Reject Newmont’s Valuer

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Some of affected farmers in a meeting at Yamfo

SOME AFFECTED farmers within the Newmont Ahafo North mining area have sued the gold mining giant in an attempt to prevent it from going ahead with a valuation of their lands and subsequent compensation.

According to a writ of summons from the Sunyani High Court, the plaintiff, Kofi Enoch, and 128 others, have prayed the court to stop the gold mining company from going ahead to value their lands, and subsequently pay compensation, since they have no trust in the valuer chosen by company to negotiate on their behalf.

According to the paper’s investigation, there is, however, division among the farmers as to whether Newmont should be allowed to go ahead and value their land, houses and crops to determine compensation to be paid to them according to a Resettlement Negotiation Committee (RNC) appointed by five communities affected by the mining area namely Yamfo, Adrogbaa, Techire, Sosuanso and Afisiripa, working with the company’s accepted valuer.

While Adrogbaa, Sosuanso and Techire have agreed to the RNC valuer appointed by Newmont, some farmers at Yamfo have rejected the valuer, Professor Asiama, citing biases on his part in favour of the company.

They have, therefore, prayed the court to stop Newmont from going ahead to value their land.

Another allegation against Newmont, which necessitated the court action by the farmers, is that Newmont has hinted it will not pay compensation for the iron-sheet roofing building on the land, after the company declared the mining area in 2017.

Some of the farmers, who disagreed with the injunction against the company, objected and pleaded with the company to come out and state clearly whether it will pay for iron roofed buildings and fish ponds on some people’s land.

Kwabena Bio Acheampong, one of the affected farmers, told the paper the company should come clear on which of the properties it intends to pay compensation on or otherwise.

 

One of the reliefs being sought read, “The rejection of the plaintiffs’ valuer or expert to represent us in the negotiation and assessment of compensation payable to the plaintiffs is a violation of law and the legal rights of the plaintiffs. We do not trust that the valuer imposed on us by the defendant will serve our interest by giving us the best representation to negotiate and assess a fair and adequate compensation payable [to] us.”

 

FROM Daniel Y Dayee, Yamfo