While campaigning in Kamwenge district on Tuesday, Kyagulanyi said the controversy was persisting because of poor leadership under the National Resistance Movement -NRM government. He said the disadvantage is both districts are not receiving the royalties that would be used for development purposes.
Unity Platform-NUP presidential candidate, Robert Ssentamu has promised to
resolve the controversy surrounding Dura limestone quarry that has divided
leaders and residents of Kamwenge and Kitagwenda districts.
In 2008, Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA permitted Hima Cement Limited to mine
limestone from the quarry that is inside Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The company acquired a mining lease from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral
Development to go on with its activities in an area measuring 450 hectares.
All went well until 2015 when Kanara Sub County that is found in present day
Kitagwenda district and Kamwenge Sub County started pulling ropes, with each
one claiming the geographical ownership of the quarry.
Kamwenge district leadership then intervened and secured surveyors from the
Lands Ministry who reported that the quarry falls in Nkongoro parish in
Kamwenge Sub County and not Kanara Sub County. The issue seemed to have been
resolved at that time.
However, the feuding resurfaced in July 2019 when Kitagwenda County broke away
from Kamwenge and became an independent district. The Kitagwenda district leadership
led by the interim LCV Chairperson, Robert Mugabe argued that the
quarry is within their jurisdiction and all royalties were supposed to go to
their accounts, something that Kamwenge leaders rejected.
As the disagreement heightened, the State Minister for Mineral Development,
Sarah Opendi intervened in August and promised to find a lasting solution
within a month. However, nothing has been done since then despite the fact that
she stopped Hima from paying the royalties of about Shillings 170 million annually
that was going to Kamwenge.
While campaigning in Kamwenge district on Tuesday, Kyagulanyi said the
controversy was persisting because of poor leadership under the National
Resistance Movement -NRM government. He said the disadvantage is both districts are not receiving the royalties that
would be used for development purposes. Kyagulanyi said once elected, he
will ensure the issue is put to rest so that the residents can start benefiting
from the quarry maximally.
The musician-cum-politician also pledged to restore Uganda
railway that will connect Kamwenge to other districts as one way of easing
transport for the farmers. During his rally at Kamwenge Secondary School,
Kyagulanyi noted that Kamwenge residents are known for growing maize but
they have not benefited because there is no cheaper means of transport
connecting the farmers to other districts with potential buyers.
Isaac Nabasa, one of the NUP supporters in Kamwenge, said he and his colleagues
are now doing their best to ensure Kyagulanyi gets maximum support from Kamwenge
so that he can improve on their livelihood with his good plans.
Bureau Chief, Tooro Sub-Region