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Companies Fight Over Boundaries in Lwera Wetland

Two companies pinned by a Parliamentary committee in illegal sand mining activities are embroiled in a land wrangle. Seroma Investment Limited and Tesco Industries Limited are in a dispute over land boundaries where the companies have been mining sand in Lwera, Mpigi district.
Lawyers of Tesco Industries, Adam Kirumira and Wycliffe Kalema appearing before the Natural Resources committee

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Two companies pinned by a Parliamentary committee in illegal sand mining activities are embroiled in a land wrangle.

Seroma Investment Limited, owned by Robert Ssekidde, a retired Lieutenant Colonel and Tesco Industries Limited are in a dispute over land boundaries where the companies have been mining sand in Lwera, Mpigi district.

Today, during a meeting with lawyers of Tesco Industries at Parliament, Natural Resources Committee chairperson Alex Byarugaba said during a site visit last month, several soldiers were seen patrolling the land and got reports of clashes between Tesco and Seroma workers.

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Lawyers Adam Kirumira and Wycliffe Kalema, who represented Lubega, admitted that there is an ongoing dispute, after Seroma claimed that Tesco Industries encroached on its land.

Kirumira says surveyors have been contracted to handle the boundary issues.

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Tesco is among over 10 companies that have been pinned by the committee in illegal sand mining activities in wetland buffer zones near Lake Victoria.

The company which acquired a sand mining license in May 2015 claims that it has not mined sand on its 100-acre land since mid last year, after National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) halted the process.

It says NEMA asked for time to study the technology of using dredgers to mine sand.

Kirumira however admitted that it is probing reports that there have been some irregular sand mining activities on the land without their knowledge.

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The committee has directed the company to produce its restoration plan and licenses by Monday next week.

Earlier, the committee met with owners of Lukaya Sand Dealers. The Chinese nationals Sun Xianzhong and Zheng Junqing appeared before the committee; however the meeting flopped following challenges in language barrier.

The MPs agreed to get an independent Chinese translator when the company directors are invited again.