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Wolfram mining company lays off workers in Rubanda

Part of Wolfram mines Nyamuriro in Muko sub county, Rubanda district

Rubanda, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  KI3R Minerals International Limited, a United Kingdom-based company that is mining Wolfram in Nyamuriro Wolfram Mines, Muko Sub County Rubanda district has laid off its workers.

The mines which cover 175 acres were revived by KI3R Minerals Limited in December 2016 after a takeover from Krone Uganda Limited. The company has been employing over 2,000 casual labourers. 

However, last week, company officials told only 100 workers to report for work.  

Ambrose Tumukunde, one of the affected workers says that they were early this week told by their bosses not to return to the mines until further notice.  He also says that they were first not paid.

Martin Abigaba, another affected worker wonders why they were not told the reasons for firing them. 

Lawrence Kakuru, a resident of Bugunga village, Nyarurambi parish, Muko Sub County another worker from the mines says that Mine officials have also without clear reasons started expelling workers who report past 9:00 am.

Kakuru says that the dismissal has affected workers since it was the only source of income for their families to survive. 

Donat Kakonde, the General Manager of KI3R Minerals International Limited says that they were forced to lay off workers due to lack of money, which he attributed to President Yoweri Museveni’s directive barring exportation of raw minerals.

Kakonde says that they are also stuck with unsold minerals adding that they are unable to raise money to pay workers.

Denis Sabitti, Rubanda West Member of Parliament says that the mining company should be allowed to sell raw wolfram deposits that have already been mined to be exported for sale so that workers are paid.  

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