Nakasongola, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Nakasongola district council has suspended stone quarrying activities of Energo Uganda Limited over alleged exploitation and failure to renew their memorandum of understanding.
The company signed a memorandum of understanding with Nakasongola district six years back to carry out stone quarrying at Kageri rock in Wabinyonyi sub county. The stones are used to construct roads in Kampala city and other highways in Uganda.
However, the six-year memorandum of understanding expired on December 31, 2020 and since then they are yet to renew it. The company has been paying 40 million shillings per year to the Nakasongola district council.
Charles Uma, the Nakasongola District Chief Administrative Officer said recently they met the managing director of Energo Uganda Limited and tabled new terms which included paying 668 million shillings for the next six years if they want their memorandum of understanding to be renewed.
Uma added that the company protested against the new fees and proposed that they pay 270 million shillings.
Uma said that the company wanted to pay 45 million per year yet the district is demanding 111 million shillings per year.
Uma says that the company also demanded re-evaluation and details on how the district determined the price.
But on Tuesday, the district councilors resolved to pass a resolution suspending Energo Uganda Limited from the stone quarry with immediate effect till they agree to district terms.
Eldard Muyanja, the district councilor for Nakasongola town council tabled a motion asking fellow councilors to suspend Energo Uganda Limited accusing it of illegally engaging in stone quarrying yet their memorandum of understanding expired.
Muyanja added that the company was attempting to engage in delaying tricks by asking for re-evaluation so that they continue to exploit the district’s stone quarry without a binding memorandum of understanding.
He also questioned how the district will demand fees which they are not paying now because there is no memorandum of understanding.
Rogers Kulaba Semanda, the District Youths Male Councillor seconded the motion saying that the proposed 45 million by Energo Uganda Limited was too little compared to works executed from the stones.
Semanda added that if the company doesn’t want to pay more, it should vacate the quarry and another company is licensed to operate there.
Other councilors insisted that the district has not benefitted from the earlier MOU and they wanted a better deal before the company is allowed to proceed with the quarrying activities.
They also accused it of causing suffering to nearby communities through their stone quarrying activities amidst meager pay.
Sunday Rogers Bwanga, the District Speaker directed the CAO to write to the company notifying them about the suspension of their activities pending signing another memorandum of understanding with it.
Energo Uganda Limited was not reachable to comment on the district’s council resolution.