Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has been given a two-week ultimatum to amicably solve the land row between large and small scale gold mining firms in Kasanda and Mubende districts.
A week ago, a group of small scale miners petitioned parliament, claiming they had been short-changed and allocated a barren 10 square kilometre mining area in Madudu Sub County, Mubende district, having been forced out of their gold rich area back in 2014; to give way for large scale miners Anglo Ugandan Corporation (AUC).
During yesterday ‘s Natural Resources Committee meeting which was attended Energy Minister Sarah Opendi and AUC’s Gertrude Njuba, there was no agreement reached on whether or not AUC’s mining licence should be extended.
President Yoweri Museveni had earlier in 2018 ordered for renewal of the company licence, provided they allocate 30% of their mining area to small scale miners.
However, Minister Opendi yesterday disagreed, telling the MPs that Presidential Orders are supposed to be executed in tandem with existing laws.
“The President gave a directive but that directive should be implemented within the law,” she said.
On his part, John Bosco Bukya, the chairperson Mubende United Miners Assembly (MUMA) said although President Museveni was trying to solve the looming crisis, it was done illegally.
“The renewal of the license was based on a presidential directive and not the Minerals Act,” Bukya explained.
As such, he said that their request for an alternative one square kilometer of their former mining areas was valid and should be considered.
Ruling on the matter, Keefa Kiwanuka the Natural Resources Committee Chairperson ordered Ministry officials to rectify these grievances amicably by March 10th 2020.