This is a formal notification of ‘disruptions’ of Fair Congo, sarl operations in the South Kivu province of the DRC. While ‘disruptions’ are not new to Fair Congo’s operations, and have been manageable in the past, a new element is influencing with a clear and targeted agenda for one of the bellow mentioned and more significant ‘disruptions’. Fair Congo continues to maintain a zero tolerance for any breaches of financial integrity and will not compromise by breaking any laws, local or international. These ‘disruptions’ are from two directions as follows:
1. All of Fair Congo’s banking capacity has been frozen and funds debited from Fair Congo accounts. It should be noted that no court action or formal process has been taken against Fair Congo in relation to this specific levy. Fair Congo’s banking partner, Trust Merchant Bank, is supporting the fight against this action and is the opinion of both parties that it is not in line with written law.
2. Among others, a levy of 16% has been applied to all past shipments, from our date of incorporation. This, among a variety of other fees and fines, now exceeds $500,000. ‘Legal action’ has been taken without notice provided to Fair Congo. The attempt to collect these levies has resulted in the lives of Fair Congo employees increasingly put at risk.
Unfortunately, the organization(s) noted above are critical to business operations related to ASM gold, however, it should be clear this does not involve the Ministry of Mines, though they have been informed of these ‘disruptions’. A full accounting of these ‘disruptions’ has been provided to the US embassy and USDoS Bureau for Economic and Business Affairs. Please see below our action plan which is open for any immediate feedback from stakeholders or parties informed by this notice.
This plan is broken into three specific elements, each with their own objective.
1. A formal letter to relevant national authorities has been sent so that local stakeholders are kept informed and may lend support as they see fit.
2. Local CSO support- Fair Congo works with three primary civil society organizations between Goma and Bukavu. All three have been provided the details surrounding the above-mentioned ‘disruptions’ and all three have been engaged to lend support in mitigating risks and drawing these issues to a positive conclusion.
a. Steps to be taken
i. A CSO leader will be traveling with Fair Congo’s Managing Director to Bukavu to meet with the Governor of South Kivu to bring these ‘disruptions’ to his attention and gain his support in ensuring they are resolved in a peaceful manner.
ii. Subsequent meetings with the noted organization(s) above will take place to diplomatically resolve these issues.
iii. Once all frozen assets of Fair Congo are released, they will be immediately and formally moved to a different province.
3. A 3rd party(s), non-governmental, willing to assist in communicating more sensitive details has been provided access to review and disseminate information in an appropriate manner should it become necessary.