Investors Plead for Lifting of Blanket Ban on Mineral Exports

The journey leading to the highest political office in the land has gained momentum, diagnosis former FDC President Dr. Kizza Besigye has said, pilule adding, by February next year, he will be President.

“We started the journey many years ago in 2001 but we had not yet achieved our goal. Some people thought the work we started would end on the way but I am back to accomplish my mission of occupying State House,” Besigye told supporters on Tuesday while launching campaigns for the FDC flag-bearer in Kasangati, Wakiso District.

The FDC strongman said that Uganda faces many challenges which trace their roots to the reign of colonialists who usurped people’s power before handing it to post-independence regimes which have never returned it to Ugandans.

Besigye waving at his supporters in Wakiso
Besigye waving at his supporters in Wakiso
Besigye was given a spear and shield to wage a new battle against Museveni
Besigye was given a spear and shield to wage a new battle against Museveni
Fans rode through Kasangati to show support of Besigye's presidential candidature
Fans rode through Kasangati to show support of Besigye’s presidential candidature

“It’s the gun that took away the power that people had to decide on matters concerning them including power to choose their own leaders. It’s the same mechanism (gun) that the recent regimes have used to ensure people are powerless which is wrong,” he said as hundreds of supporters cheered him on.

“Many people live miserable lives not knowing how the following day will be. It’s high time the people regain their power to decide who they want .The people should be able to say no to corrupt government officials who have always stagnated development projects through mismanagement of billions of money meant to provide services to the people,” the former FDC president said.

The former FDC president is tussling it out with his successor, Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu to represent FDC in the 2016 presidential elections.

Wearing a Kanzu, a traditional Buganda cloth, Besigye sought to appeal to Kabaka Mutebi’s subjects as he braces for the fourth presidential contest with Museveni.

The NRA historical contested and lost to Museveni in the 2001, 2006 and 2011.


Besigye recently ruled out ever abandoning his struggle to remove Museveni from power.

Speaking today, Besigye attacked President Museveni whom he said has not fulfilled anything in his 2011 manifesto, highlighting free university education that government has failed to provide to the students.

Police kept a close eye on Besigye's activity today
Police kept a close eye on Besigye’s activity today
Besigye was accompanied by people from all walks of life
Besigye was accompanied by people from all walks of life


The FDC strongman noted that government has enough money to ensure students study for free at university and cater for other needs by the country but the poor usage of the funds has made it impossible.

“Court has on several occasions pronounced itself that the elections were not free and fair but this time round we will not wait to go to court to decide for us,” warned Besigye.

“We will not allow going into any election without reforms put in place. This is the job that I gave myself and I will never retire not until it’s accomplished,” he vowed.

Besigye together with other FDC shots including Ingrid Turinawe, Geoffrey Ekanya, Nabbosa Ssebugwawo and Jack Wamayi Wamanga were later escorted by supporters to Kawempe where they held another rally.

Police maintained presence at Besigye's rallies
Police maintained presence at Besigye’s rallies
An elderly woman embraces Besigye at the rally in Kasangati
An elderly woman embraces Besigye at the rally in Kasangati
A committee of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) concerned members and delegates have issued a declaration which among others denounces Hon. Jimmy Michael Akena as the party president and orders him to back-off party funds.

The group led by Gold Ruyondo a party NEC member from Rwenzori region said they would not recognize Akena as the legitimate party president and advised him to abide by the party constitution and immediately withdraw his team from the headquarters to allow the party leadership to organize a Delegates Conference.

The members also sent out a message to the chairman of the electoral commission Eng Badru Kiguddu informing him that Mr Akena was not the party’s elected President.

“We would like to inform both the National Electoral Commission and the management of Orient Bank [the party’s account holder] not to honor or transact any business with Akena and his team, doctor ” observed Ruyondo while addressing the media at Speke Hotel in Kampala.

“Akena’s team is an illegal entity and strangers to the party constitution who are just masquerading as party leaders since there was no internal party elections held on May 30, website like this and no new party president has been elected by the Delegates Conference in accordance to article 13.2 (5) of the party constitution, approved ” Ruyondo emphasized.

The group maintains that the outcome of the consultative meeting called by Akena on July 1 which later turned into a delegates conference was null and void since he had no mandate to convene the said conference where he was subsequently sworn-in as a new president.

The members urged Dr. Olara Otunu to expedite the convening of a legitimate delegates conference to elect the UPC president in accordance with article 13.2 (4) and (5) to be held by August 2015.

The group also accused police for protecting Akena’s leadership by sending its men to occupy the party headquarters at Uganda House.

“We call upon the IGP, Kale Kayihura to withdraw his forces from Uganda House to allow the party organs resolve their leadership wrangles,” said, Benon Muhanguzi Ankole Sub-region delegate.

So far a total of four districts which include Busia and Moroto have vowed not to work with Akena not until credible elections are held within the party.


The Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) has called for a more balanced approach to the Value Addition strategy in the country’s nascent mineral sector.

The plea follows an outcry from  UCMP members in the mining sector who claim their operations have suffered immeasurable setbacks following the ban on all mineral exports that the Government of Uganda enforced in February 2015, here in a quest to encourage value addition on the minerals or beneficiation.

“The UCMP supports and encourages its members to embrace minerals value addition as a strategic policy for the country. However, salve the omnibus ban on all minerals has created a credibility crisis for Uganda. We cannot be saying that we are attracting investment in the mineral sector and at the same time we impose a ban on mineral exports, sildenafil ” clarified Hon Richard H. Kaijuka, the Vice Chairman of the Chamber and also a former Minister of Energy and Mineral Development.

Uganda has since been relatively successful in attracting some investors in the mineral sector from Australia, Russia, Canada, India and Europe.

But the UCMP believes that it is very difficult to attract exploration money at the moment because of the overall global decline in commodity prices.

“There is need for a case by case approach to this beneficiation drive. Currently many companies have obligations that they have failed to meet and some have closed shop while others have cut back on both operations and staff. Lifting the mineral exports ban will therefore go a long way in reinvigorating the young mining sector,” Hon Kaijuka added.

Uganda has over 200 million tonnes of Iron ore, nickel, copper, gold, silver and other rare earth elements which when thoroughly explored and produced will earn the country more revenue than it gets from Oil and Gas.

Uganda is also endowed with other vast and diverse metallic and industrial minerals with commercial potential that include Manganese, Tin, Wolfram, Beryl, Bismuth, Colombite Tantalite, Chromites, Diamonds, Limestone, Cobalt, Vermiculite, Phosphates, Asbestos, Clay, Diatomite, Feldspars, Granite Gneiss, Graphite, Gypsum, Kaolin, Kyanite, Marble, Mica, Rock Salt, Silica Sand, and Talc.

Government insists that export of raw minerals hurts the economy.

President Museveni last year told the 17th Comesa Summit that Africa must stop export of raw-materials.

“We discovered oil in 2006. Up to today we have not dug out that oil because of disagreeing with the oil companies that, initially, did not want to build a Refinery,” he said.

Museveni said Africa must “discourage the comprador class that specializes in selling foreign goods here and then also transferring our minerals and agricultural products at very low prices while exporting jobs at the same time by not adding value to our raw-materials.”


Ikrom Muminov, the Operational Manager at 3T Mining Ltd noted that the company had so far invested over US$6m in its two mines – Wampewo Mine in Wakiso and Buyaga Mine in Lyantonde – but had to lay off at least 50 of its original 160 casual labourers due to financial constraints caused by this ban.

The company is averaging losses of US$60,000 every month because of the reduction in revenues and penalties on pending contracts with its buyers who are still holding part its payments due to 3T Mining’s failure to deliver materials because of the ban.

It currently has 20 tonnes and 6 tonnes of well processed tungsten (wolfram) and coltan material respectively ready for export, with similar amounts being prepared for processing.

For Kabale based Krone (U) Ltd, its ready-for-export tungsten product now stands at 80 tonnes – valued at about US$720,000.

Namekara Mining Company Limited at the moment has about 1400 tonnes of vermiculite worth $ 260,000, on standby waiting for export.

The company is on the verge of collapse unable to pay its employees, creditors and suppliers.

Besides, for vermiculite, which expands to more than 10 times its original volume after initial processing is done, transportation costs would be too high to guarantee a return from anywhere in the world.

UCMP officials said other minerals like tin, the deposits are not big enough – both locally and regionally – to run an economically viable processing plant in Uganda.

“The UCMP believes that beneficiation should be a phased process over time which can begin with the lifting of the ban of mineral exports, while putting in place respective infrastructure requirements (energy and transport) and a legislative framework (land laws especially) to support the value addition campaign is important,” the organisation said in a statement seen by ChimpReports on Tuesday.

“To establish a large scale mine by world standards, at least $5m to $100m is needed in the exploration process – from discovery to proving feasibility. However, due to a fall in commodity prices and a global economic downturn, exploration expenditure has plummeted by at least 30 percent worldwide with an additional 15 percent to 20 percent decline in exploration investment in Africa predicted in 2015 and beyond. An estimated 90 percent of junior exploration companies that existed in 2010 are no more, hence there exists a very strong competition for this highly risk capital globally.”

It is for these reasons that the UCMP called upon the Government to “continue fostering a favorable environment that can competitively attract this extremely scarce risk capital,” adding, “Lifting the ban on mineral exports is a therefore very important in this regard. This is especially in light of a struggling Uganda shilling against the US dollar that the Bank of Uganda has blamed on a balance of trade deficit.”

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