Bartica miner accuses Odinga Lumumba of abuse of political power
…at stake are mining claims at Mariwa
Ignatius Timmerman is fighting for his life. The mining claims he operated in the Mariwa area are now under threat and even the authorities seem bent on bowing to pressure being applied by an individual who is laying claim to some of the concessions.
Timmerman, who spent his early years at Bartica, Essequibo, entered the goldfields as a youth and worked those claims with the previous owner.
Later he bought the claims and has been working on them ever since. His problems began when Odinga Lumumba, who has formed a consortium with Grantley Walrond, former Commissioner, began to lay claims to his property.
By letter dated July 21, last, Lumumba wrote to Commissioner, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, William Woolford, contending that “there are several illegal claims on the Mariwa projects within the PL area as certified by GGMC.”
The letter continued, “I will appreciate if you can take steps to put a halt to these operations pending resolution. I am sure that you are aware that the PL goes back to 1991 and that any claims in the name of Ignatius Timmerman that were issued in 1993 or after 1991 would be illegal.
“This is a very serious development which can result in legal actions including compensation requirements from GGMC and Timmerman.
“I anticipate that you would stop Mr Timmerman’s operations within 72 hours pending resolution of this issue.”
This, according to Timmerman, is an abuse of power and an attempt to steal his property.
“I am the legal owner of a few claims in the Mariwa area since 1991.The claims have been published in the official Gazette.
“I have sold all my gold to the Guyana Gold Board since 1991. Lo and behold I have now been told that I am on Mr Odinga Lumumba`s land.”
Timmerman has since moved to the courts but he said that even that action is being ignored by the GGMC.
The Court action which is in effect an injunction granted to Timmerman, orders that the status quo remains, that Timmerman continues to operate as before.
However, GGMC issued a cease order to Timmerman, which the Bartica miner continues to ignore but at the same time, he is afraid to work given the threats being leveled at him.
“Since August I have been unable to work because of a cease work order issued by the
GGMC. What am I to do? I have commitments to the bank. I have a family and workers who have dependents.
“This situation is putting a strain on me financially.”
He said that what is even more painful is the fact that “Mr Lumumba and cohorts are trespassing on my claims by cutting lines and planting flags on the land.”
He says that these actions amount to contempt of the court.
The law states that any person who commits contempt is guilty of an offence. The penalty for an individual is a $250,000 fine or a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months.”