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Solicitor General asked to Intervention in Kasese Mineral Royalties Wrangle :: Uganda Radionetwork

Solicitor General asked to Intervention in Kasese Mineral Royalties Wrangle

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The battle between Hima Town Council and the Kasese district authorities over mineral royalties from Hima Cement Factory and Kasese Cobalt Company has heated up, following the release of 257 million shillings from the two companies to the district.

The chairperson of Hima Town Council, Katura Musana, wants the Solicitor General to intervene in the wrangle and to secure royalties for the town council.

Both parties claim ownership of the money.

According to the Mining Act of 2003 the owner of any land subject to mining is entitled to compensation or a share of royalties charged on the minerals. It says the royalties shall be shared by Government, Local Governments and lawful occupiers of the land on which the mining is taking place.

Government is entitled to 80 percent of the royalties, the Local Government is entitled to 17 percent and the owner of the land gets three percent of the royalties,

Musana says the law has consistently been abused by the Kasese district authorities and despite its entitlement, Hima Town Council has never received a shilling from the factories located within its jurisdiction. He says the Solicitor General should intervene to interpret the law.

Musana says that if release, the royalties would go a long way in funding important social services for the people of Hima.

The question of mineral royalties in Kasese has been a long standing one. All together Hima Town Council is demanding for more than 400 million shillings in royalties from the Central Government. The money accrues from mineral exploitation by Hima Cement Factory dating back to December 2004.

On several occasions both the district chairperson, Rev. Canon Julius Kithaghenda and the Minister of Defense, Crispus Kiyonga, have said that the royalties should be paid to the district and not to Hima Town Council.

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