Artisanal Gold Miners Petition Kadaga Over Eviction

2940 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Artisanal gold miners from Mubende district have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over a planned eviction from the mining fields in Bukuya sub county.

Artisanal gold miners from Mubende district have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over a planned eviction from the mining fields in Bukuya sub county.
 
President Museveni on June 13th issued a directive evicting Ugandan artisanal gold miners in favour of an investor, Gemstones International. This is after continuous fights over the mining areas in Mubende between the investor and the local artisanal miners.
 
Although the artisanal miners are considered illegal, they claim Government has frustrated their attempts to legalize their business, but also  given away huge chunks of land to investors for exploration yet most of them have mined gold in Mubende for decades.
 
The miners today petitioned the Speaker demanding that their rights as Ugandan businessmen be protected, as some of them are residents of the area.
 
Robert Sempewo, the chairman of the affected miners says over 6,000 gold miners will be affected by the eviction. He appealed to the speaker to talk to the president to consider them. He says that they should at least be given the six square miles on which they have been operating.
 
They allege that the investor, Gemstones International has over 270 square kilometres of exploration area in Mubende.
 
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Kasanda North MP Patrick Nsamba noted that it is not fair for Government even with its desire to have investors to evict residents doing business. He says although they are informal, Government should only work towards organizing artisanal miners. He stated that as legislators they want to have local content observed in all enterprises.
 
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Speaker Kadaga who received the petition stated that the president was not updated on the locals as stakeholders. She says the request of the five square kilometres by the miners will be presented to the president to consider the interest of the people.
 
She says they need to make the law stronger in a bid to ensure people benefit in the mining industry.
 
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Mbwa Tekamwa Gaffa, the MP Kasambya County in Mubende district blames some ministers for misinforming the president on what is actually taking place. 

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.