Diana Nabiruma, the Communication Officers at the Africa Institute for Energy Governance-AFIEGO, indicates that besides anonymous persons cautioning them against engaging project affected persons and documenting their concerns, they have lately started registering cases of suspicious people trying to disrupt their community meetings.
Civil Society Organizations-CSOs advocating for the promotion of
Human Rights and Environmental protection in the East African Crude Oil
Pipeline-EACOP project have decried acts of intimidation.
Addressing a press conference on Friday in Masaka district at the launch of a
report on the social-economic impacts of the EACOP for the Masaka sub-region,
the civil society actors under the coalition of Community Transformation
Foundation Network-COTFONE said they are registering threats targeting their
works and people affected by the EACOP.
Diana Nabiruma, the Communication Officers at the Africa Institute for Energy
Governance-AFIEGO, indicates that besides anonymous persons cautioning them
against engaging project affected persons and documenting their concerns, they
have lately started registering cases of suspicious people trying to disrupt
their community meetings.
Nabiruma says that the latest incident occurred in Lwanda Sub-county, Rakai
district where someone claiming to be from the Ministry of Energy disrupted a
community engagement after he accused the CSO’s of using such meetings to
incite the affected persons to raise against the project.
She explains that such threats are choreographed by people who intend to stifle
the voice of civil society organizations and eventually the project affected
persons who would speak up against the injustices that occur during the project
//Cue in: “I want to point out….
Cue out; ….things to you.”//
Yisito Kayinga Muddu, the regional coordinator of COTFONE says they have also
registered incidences of security operatives reaching out to some
project-affected persons to coarse them sign assessment forms despite being
undervalued. He alleges that some of the project affected persons are
also being threatened to stop raising their voices on concerns about the
project concerns and to de-associate themselves from CSO’s involved in
community advocacy with intentions of framing them.
//Cue in: “what is happening….
Cue out; ….this to come.”//
Meanwhile, Nabiruma indicates that they have generated a brief about these
threats and other social concerns which they intend to share with the
Parliament Committee on Natural Resources and Petroleum Authority of Uganda to
seek administrative interventions.
The concerns from the CSOs come as Ugandan and Tanzanian leaders, and the
technocrats are in the final stages of signing their final investment agreement
on the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project.
But Muhammad Nsubuga, the Greater Masaka Regional Police
Spokesperson says they are yet to receive complaints of threats from both CSOs
and project-affected persons.
He says their offices in areas where complaints are said to have been cited are
going to study the allegations and ensure the safety of all persons.