Led by Gerald Wangi and Richard Kiwanuka, the Kyagunda LC I Chairperson, the disgruntled residents want the court to force Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman & Co) and Hunan to pay for all the damages caused to their property during the stone quarrying.
More than 100 residents
of Kikonda, Mabuye, and Kyaggunda villages
in Bukulula sub-county have sued Arab Contractors
(Osman Ahmed Osman & Co) and Hunan, a Chinese construction firm for failure to compensate them for
the damage caused to their property
during the stone extraction.
The government contracted Arab Contractors to tarmac the 41km-Masaka-Bukakata road project. The company sub-contracted Hunan to supply
stones for tarmacking the road. The
sub-contractor went on to use
the 15-acre stone quarry in Kyaggunda village to extract stones for the road works. Reynolds
Construction Company (RCC) Ltd from Nigeria used the same quarry to extract
stones for the
construction of the Masaka-Kampala highway in 2010.
Led by Gerald Wangi and Richard Kiwanuka, the Kyagunda LC I Chairperson, the
disgruntled residents want the court to force Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman & Co) and
Hunan to pay for all the damages caused to their property during the stone quarrying.
According to Wangi, Hunan used to blast rocks with explosives, which
cracked houses within 500 meters and destroyed plantations. He says that several women and animals
suffered multiple miscarriages because of the blasts. He says that the company’s contract of extracting
stones ended on August 23, 2021,
but they have continued extracting stones to date without compensating the residents.
//Cue in: “Twatute company………….
Cue out:……………….enkya tulabe.”//
Masaka high court has summoned the two companies to appear in
court on Friday. Wangi, says that through Kaliba & Co. Advocates, they want the company to
Sulaiman Mugunga, the Bukulula Sub-county councillor, says that he took the
matter to the Masaka Resident
District Commissioner-RDC –Caleb Tukaikiriza for redress before it’s
too late. He says that the
RDC advised the
residents to join efforts and fight for their rights and compensation.
//Cue in: “Mube
Cue out:……………….eri kampuni.”//
2019, the residents held a week-long protest halting the company operations, which prompted the intervention of the local
leaders and district security committee. In a joint meeting presided over by Vincent Bamulangaki
Kalungu East MP and Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
(MAAIF), the managers and engineers of both companies promised to compensate the residents
for the damages.
Ssempijja told the engineers of the two
companies to compensate residents before they resume operations. However, the engineers convinced the
residents and local leaders to allow them to proceed and promised to pay later, which they have not down close to three years after.
Margaret Lakot Babirye, the Public Relations Officer of HUNA told URN that she wasn’t aware
of the lawsuit and therefore could
not say much about it. Lydia Mukasa, the PRO-Arab Contractors told URN that she is aware of the
lawsuit, adding that the
compensation is being processed.
According to Mukasa, compensation may start in one or two weeks from now but
the residents are just impatient.
She says that Arab contractors are insured
by Jubilee insurance and it is their officials to compensate
the affected people on their behalf after following proper guidelines. She
noted that Insurance officials visited the affected families about a month back
to assess the damage and
make a report before compensating the affected people.