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Kabarole district authorities query gold exploration firm activities

Richard Rwabuhinga, Kabarole District chairman. URN photo

Kabarole, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kabarole district authorities are querying the activities of “Black Mining Resource”, a gold exploration firm stationed in Rweraza village, Kasenda sub-county. The local leaders in Kasenda sub-county say that the company started its operations in February last year without informing any of the local authorities.

They note that none of the company officials have ever reached the sub-county and district authorities about their activities. Marvin Mugara, the Kasenda sub-county chief says that he attempted to visit the gold exploration site to ascertain what was going but he was turned away and warned never to return without an appointment or question the activities.

Ruta Gideon, the Kasenda sub county male councillor says that they brought the matter to the attention of the district council, which resolved to constitute a committee led by the LCV chairperson to establish what was going on and report back to the council.

He however says that the miners blocked the LCV chairperson and then Kabarole Resident District Commissioner from accessing the company premises.

Annett Asasira, the area female councillor says that she lost interest in following up on the matter given the way the top district leadership was turned away when they tried to access the exploration area. According to Asasira, the venture is risky and she’s not likely to question the matter again.

John Katotoroma, the Kabarole Chief Administrative Officer says that he has never received any complaint from the sub-county chief concerning the mining activities.

Eunice Kanyiginya, the Kabarole District Environment Officer says that the miners have never approached her office to brief her on their activities. Kanyiginya says that she would not risk moving alone to the restricted zone after the top district leadership was blocked from accessing the company premises.

Richard Rwabuhinga, the LCV chairperson of Kabarole district says those conducting the gold exploration activities in the district are not known officially. He however denied being blocked from accessing the gold exploration site in Rwerazza village.

“As a council, we a have not seen them. I would wish to invite them to the district because mining has a number of issues related to the environment, employee relations, and royalties among other things, this country is governed under a constitution,” Rwabuhinga added. Rwabuhinga says mining is a legal activity in the county and wonders why the miners have failed to report their activities to the district.

Kabarole district speaker, Timothy Ruwheza says that the issue involves prominent people in government. He declined to disclose their next course of action since their committee was blocked from accessing the gold mining exploration site.

Solomon Muyita, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development told URN that he was getting challenges to get information on the account that the district has no geology officer and the one in the region is based in Mbarara.

Efforts to get a comment from the “Black mining resource” group were futile as the security officials would not allow our reporter to proceed without an appointment.

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