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.