Breaking

Kilembe Mines Redevelopment Plan Excites Kasese Leaders

Last week, cabinet approved the redevelopment plan of the mines which, among other things, calls for the expeditious sourcing of potential investors in the copper mines.

Audio 5

Kasese district leaders have welcomed the approval of a plan to redevelop and rehabilitate Kilembe Mines in Kasese.

Last week, cabinet approved the redevelopment plan of the mines which, among other things, calls for the expeditious sourcing of potential investors in the copper mines.

Kilembe Mines was a major source of revenue for Uganda in the 1960s through 1970s but got a setback in 1977 when Idi Amin Dada, then as president of Uganda, ordered Canadians who were the investors to leave the mines in the hands of Ugandans.

Amin's nationalisation policy was also followed by steep fall in the global prices of copper ore hence leading to the closure of the mines in 1978.

However, in 2013, government offered a 25-year concession to Tibet Hima Mining Company Limited to revamp the mines.

But the concession was cancelled by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in 2017 October on grounds that Tibet Hima had failed to execute its mandate as prescribed in the concession.

Throughout 2018, leaders and other residents of Kasese made a lot of advocacy for the need to revamp the mines which also attracted the attention of the chief coordinator Operation Wealth Creation Gen Salim Saleh.

Saleh then met different stakeholders on how fast the copper mines can be revamped, a move that culminated into the cabinet approval of the plan last week.

Ruth Kabugho, the secretary for social services at Kasese district says the approval was long overdue. She says the redevelopment of the mines will see Kilembe, which had grown into a major town in Western Uganda, regain her glory.

Kabugho, however, says there is need for government to involve all stakeholders especially residents and leaders from Kasese within the implementation of the plan so that the challenges of the community are properly captured.

//Cue in: “I want to appreciate…”

Cue out: “….in Kilembe mines.”//

Richard Bomera the Bulembia Division councillor concurs with Kabugho that there is need for involvement of the local leadership to appreciate the community concerns.

Bomera says one of the challenges which remain sticky is land wrangles that have since ensued between the residents and Kilembe mines limited that must be dealt with.

//Cue in: “We realized that…”

Cue out: “….is very welcome.”//

Bomera also quickly adds that once revamped, the mines will see more than ten thousand people acquire employment and subsequently boast not only the economy of the district but also that of the entire country.

//Cue in: “Kilembe mines is….”

Cue out: “…in the economy.”//

But Alex Masereka, the Kasese district planner quickly appeals to the people of Kasese, especially the youth, to equip themselves with technical skills if they are to benefit from the job opportunities that will come with the redevelopment of the copper mines.

//Cue in: “The development of ….”

Cue out: “…. targeting Kilembe mines.”//

Masereka adds that once redeveloped, the mines will also work as a mining tourism destination which will enable the district get more revenue from the tourism sector.

//Cue in: “This is good news…”

Cue out: “…museums in Uganda.”//

Entities