The Natural resources committee of Parliament has given the
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development up to March 10th to
resettle Mubende artisanal miners.
In 2017, Government evicted an
estimated 60,000 artisanal miners in Mubende district on grounds
that they were mining illegally.
The miners were evicted from Kitumbi
and Bukuya sub counties which were owned by AUC Mining Uganda Limited owned by Gertrude
Njuba, a long time presidential advisor and Moses Masagazi.
The Miners under their umbrella Mubende United Miners
Assembly (MUMA) were in 2019 allocated land in Kyabikoola Village in Bukuya, in
the new Kassanda District, however they turned around saying the land was
barren with no minerals and needed better land.
They then petitioned Parliament seeking to be allocated 1
square Kilometer of land in the original mining area.
Now appearing before the natural resources committee scrutinizing
their petition, the miners led by their chairman John Bosco Bukya said the
President guided that they should be given part of the working mining area, but
they were given land that does not yield any thing.
They asked the committee to compel Government to give them
the 1 square kilometer to mine, so that they can restore their livelihood which
was damaged by the eviction.
//Cue in: "Mr Chairman sir...
Cue out:...no mineral potential."//
Sarah Babirye, the Central Youth MP pleaded with the Minister to resettle the evicted people, saying their families are stranded as they cannot mine.
//Cue in: "People have suffered...
Cue out:...please help them."//
The committee chairperson Keefa Kiwanuka asked the Ministry
to consider implementing the directive of the President especially since the
contract for the AUC Mining company had expired some time in Febraury and the land was
now in the hands of Government. He gave the Ministry up to 10th
March to resolve the matter.
The Minister of State for Mineral Development, Sarah Opendi
requested for more time to come up with a decision on how to resettle the
Although the committee had resolved that the procurement
process for a new mining company in the area of Kitumba and Bukuya in the
contested area be halted until the issue of the artisanal miners are sorted,
the Energy Ministry says people have already applied since its an online system.