Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43 Oil Pipeline: Accountability Experts Detect Ill Motive In Compensation Figures :: Uganda Radionetwork
John Mwebe, the program Coordinator-International Accountability Project (AIP), says Total intended to defraud the affected persons by keeping them in the dark. He explains that the compensation process is not transparent as it was meant to be yet the PAPS who raise their voices are intimidated or arrested.
There have been various protests among the oil pipeline Project Affected persons-PAPs in Rakai, Kyotera, Lwengo and Sembabule
districts over the delayed compensation process and the poor reparation rates. Total
Uganda sub-contracted New Plan Limited to do the valuation of the affected property on the pipeline route and present the value for
each item based on the district compensation rates.
However, Total presented general compensation figures for all
items. This prompted the
PAPS and Civil Society Organisations to demand a detailed breakdown of the rates per item. According
to the CSOs and experts in oil accountability, there is a hidden motive in presenting the block figures
without a clear breakdown.
John Mwebe, the program Coordinator-International
Accountability Project (AIP), says Total intended to defraud the affected
persons by keeping them in the dark. He explains that the compensation process
is not transparent as it was meant to be yet the PAPS who raise their voices are intimidated or arrested.
//Cue in: “The very essence……….
Cue:…………..the block figures.”//
He says that there
is no certainty as to whether the figures presented are based on the
compensation lists or just presented by the company without detailing the
amount of land and the property on it. Mwebe noted that the block figures lead
to questions about how people’s land in different localities is being valued.
//Cue in: “You see
Cue:…………..the block figures.”//
He adds that the lack of transparency means that Total is
hiding something. According to Mwebe, the PAPs are not able to thoroughly
double-check the compensation offer and
claim for fair payment. He adds that in their research, they established that there are disparities in
the amount they are told and the amount of money in the reports.
//Cue in: “I wouldn’t want to……….
Cue:…………..defraud the people.”//
According to Yisito Muddu Kayinga, the Executive Director-
Community Transformation Foundation Network (COTFONE), people’s properties such
as land and buildings were undervalued while several were not considered for compensation.
He says they raised complaints about the general figure during the Resettlement
Action Plan (RAP) disclosure but Total declined to provide details.
//Cue in: “Tuyina
He says that the poor
compensation rates and failure to explain what each item costs are some of the concerns, which the six French and Uganda Civil Society
Organizations (CSOs) namely Friends of the Earth France, Survie, AFIEGO, CRED,
NAPE and NAVODA took to the French Supreme Court against Total.
//Cue in: “Era byebimu……….
Amid the concerns, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU)
maintains that it has no hand in determining the compensation rates. According to Seth Muhumuza, the Head of
Stakeholder Management-PAU, it is the Chief Government Valuer, who is
responsible for approving the compensation rates.
Following a petition about the Block Figures in November,
CSOs and the PAPs led by COTFONE held a feedback meeting with the Senior
Management of Total Energies
E&P (U) B.V led by Martin Tiffen and agreed that the breakdown of the
figures will be presented during the
Compensation Agreement Signing, which
is will take place at an