Okwi: The Fans Loved It

Civil society organisations have expressed outrage over Uganda’s Mining Act and Policy, thumb appealing to government to develop sustainable guidelines and regulations for the sector.

They argued that while the mining industry in Uganda has a great potential to be a key growth sector given the country’s vast and rich mineral resource deposits, illness “it is still hounded by various challenges that include the social and environmental costs, revenue sharing that is seen as unfair and inequitable, the flawed provisions in the current mining laws, overlapping and weak enforcement of these laws, among others.”

The activists said mineral endowments are regarded by many, as a ‘curse’ and counterproductive to long-term growth and poverty reduction goals, and antithetical to sustainable development in Uganda.

Government recently suspended mining activities in Namayingo district to pave way for proper regulation and guidance on how best those involved can do so legally.

The Mining Act, 2003 provides for mining regulations on Mineral Agreement, Prospecting License, Exploration License and Mining Lease.

However, government has since decided to review the laws that guide the sector.

ChimpBusiness reports that 250 organisations have developed a position paper that highlights key issues of concern under both the Mining Act, 2003 and Mining Policy of 2001 ranging from the community and human rights perspectives and have made several recommendations for review.

According to Capson Sausi, Programme Coordinator Safer World one of the participating Civil Society Organisations, the position paper presented to the Parliament Committee on Natural resources cites several weaknesses that have been identified in the existing Mining Policy and Legal Framework.


Capson said there are no measures to regularize or formalize artisanal and small scale mining (ASM), and the Policy is silent on the environmental management of ASM activities in the country.

“The policy is weak on promotion of non-fiscal strategies to harness non-monetary socio-economic benefits, for example it does not cover procurement of local goods and services from a local/national content perspective,” he stated on Monday.

He argued that there is also no requirement for a clear policy or regulations on local content which in itself could lead to transfer mispricing between transnational mining companies with peer entities from their home countries or tax heavens.

According to the mining laws, for one to engage in the mining activity, they must first acquire a prospecting license for a period of one year to establish the existence of the minerals.

Once established, one can apply for a location license for Ugandans with a share of 51 percent in the mining company and a mining lease for highly mechanized operations mostly by big companies.

One must also hold a retention license if the mining lease is expired.

But activists suggest that the policy is also weak on community engagement and participation, mostly restricting it to awareness raising and information dissemination, and through indirect means such as, recognizing the environmental laws that require community participation in conducting Energy Information Administration.

Capson stressed that the Principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is lacking in the access of surface rights by mining entities and that there are weaknesses in the protection of privately owned land against mining activities, which is an avenue for land conflicts between mining companies and land owners.

“There is no strategy for developing a robust institutional mechanism to ensure compliance with key provisions of the law. Government relies on the good will of the companies to declare their revenues and royalties and to comply with the set environmental regulations and lacks an investigative audit framework,” he said.

“Gender mainstreaming is inadequately addressed under the Mineral Policy. For instance, objective 5 stipulates that women can be employed in the mining sector, but fails to address the inclusion of women and the youth in all aspects of the mineral development process.

“There is no requirement for mining companies to adhere to human rights standards and principles espoused in the Constitution and other international human rights treaties of international application. Rights such as, the right to non-discrimination, ownership of property and land, social and health services employment, education and access to information are conspicuously missing within the policy and legal framework.”

Activists further maintain that the mining industry is susceptible to conflict due to the diverse competing interests of the various stakeholders and the overlapping mineral and land access rights between mining companies and mineral rich host communities.

Janser Bussey, Regional Head Safer World, further noted that this position paper on the Mining ACT was developed out of an exercise conducted in form of a public consultative workshop involving 70 members of civil society, media, mining experts, local government officials, local community representatives and artisanal miners drawn from the Karamoja and Mubende artisanal and small-scale miners.


Civil Society Organisations (CSO) recommended that there is need for the Mining ACT to establish detailed guidelines and regulations for Artisanal and Small scale Mining and ensure formalization of the sector detailing the relationship between ASM and Large Scale Mining Companies.

They pointed out the urgency of reducing the costs involved in obtaining the location license, for example by decentralizing the licensing process to the district level and setting up strategies for local community engagement and development, and catering for obtaining community consent, regular information flow, and inclusive and effective community participation.

The Africa Mining Vision recommended that states improve the legal and regulatory framework and increase public awareness and participation which is critical for the acquisition of the “Social License To Operate (SLTO)”, and conflict mitigation.

CSOs further opined that policy should widen the scope for local content to also include procurement of local goods and services and the promotion of technological transfer as a long-term strategy.

They said environmental management and mine closure require that a socio-economic Impact Assessment be carried out alongside the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Simba (Tanzania) and Cranes striker Emma Okwi reckons the Dar es Salaam derby was exciting most especially his match winning goal at National Stadium in the Vodacom Premier League on Sunday.

Matches involving Simba and Young Africans, decease also known as Yanga, more about as well as the national team are major crowd-pullers. Sunday’s attendance was estimated to be between 60, 000 to 70,000 fans.

So Sunday’s match was not a one-off event. The popularity of the game is rising, mainly due to the influx of foreign players and the upgrading of stadiums.

Crowd watching Sunday's match in Dar es Salaam
Crowd watching Sunday’s match in Dar es Salaam

Okwi feels Yanga were in control in the first stanza, but Simba came out strong in the second half and on that basis, he feels a win is a fair result.

“I guess the fans loved the end-to-end stuff and I think it was probably the best 1-0 Derby that the crowd will see in a long time,” Okwi tells ChimpSport in an online interview.

“Yanga aced the first half but we came out fighting in the second. In the end, I think it was a fair result.

“Both teams went for it, both teams went for three points but at the end of the day we can only be satisfied with the three points we got.”

Okwi scored on 51 minutes from 22yards thanks to Said Ndemla’s good ball distribution.  Yanga finished with a man down after Rwandan international Niyonzima Haruna was sent off.

Other Ugandans that took part in the win were Murushid Jjuuko (entire 90 minutes), Simon Sserunkuma (came in as a substitute). Joseph Owino and Dan Sserunkuma were unused substitutes.

The win sends Simba into 3rd on 26 points, five behind Yanga who remains on top despite loss.



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