Nakasongola district administration has agreed to renew a memorandum of
understanding that allows Energo Uganda Limited Company to carry out stone
quarrying activities in the area at 50 million shillings per year, far below the Council’s desired
amount. But the councilors, who constitute the districts supreme governing body, say the renewal is illegal and they are not party to it.
Energo Uganda Limited Company is carrying out stone quarrying
at a public rock quary located at Kageri village 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 to carry out stone quarrying expired on
December 31 2020 and since then the district had not renewed it.
The company has been paying 40 million shillings per year to
the Nakasongola district but recently the district council suspended
its activities and proposed that the MOU be renewed at 111 million shillings per year, saying the company is exploiting them.
Sam Kigula, the LC 5 Chairman of Nakasongola says
that the district resolved to ask the Government valuer to make an evaluation of
the stone quarry and he has since advised that they instead charge the company 50 million
shillings per year.
Kigula says that although the council wanted a better deal
the opinion of the Government's Valuer had to be respected.
Kigula says that the District Executive Committee has directed the CAO to sign an MOU with
Energo Uganda Limited Company but these will need to consent to pay the 50 million
shillings starting from the date the old agreement expired since they have been carrying out stone quarrying.
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Charles Uma, the Nakasongola District Chief Administrative
Officer declined to comment on the new deal saying he can't give more details after Chairman had explained the same.
But earlier on, Uma told the council that
the managing director of Energo Uganda Limited rejected the council’s proposal for
111 million shillings and asked for a valuation from the Government valuer.
Uma also said that the company was ready to pay arrears if
they reach a consensus and MOU is signed.
Energo Uganda Limited Company is yet to comment on the new deal.
But the district councilors are unsatisfied with the new deal
saying the fees are little compared to stones that are transported out of the
district per month.
Rogers Kulaba Semanda the District Youths Male Councillor
said the district was supposed to table the evaluation report before the finance committee
where he sits and consensus generated on renewing but this wasn’t done.
Kulaba said that there are also environmental concerns and complaints from residents which must be resolved before a new MOU is signed.
Paul Ssejjemba the District Workers
councilor says that they are waiting for the council sitting to ask
the CAO to table the MOU and evaluation report for scrutiny.
Sunday Rogers Bwanga, the District Speaker explained that the
Council suspended stone quarrying activities by Energo Uganda Limited
Company and only the Council can lift it after they are satisfied with the new
Bwanga says that however, he is surprised to learn that
district has signed the MOU and they are waiting for the company to sign its part before
they consult the council or the finance committee.
“The district council is the supreme body of the district and it is unlawful to defy it and sign the MOU before they set aside the suspension, so we shall seek answers in the next council sitting,” Bwanga said.