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Speculators Hindering Mining Sector in Karamoja

Jackson Angella Nawot, an elder and vice chairperson of Moroto District Mineral Watch Platform says the speculators have stood in the way for better bargaining power for the local community in the region.
Marble Mining Site by Agro- Mechanize Company in Rupa Sub County.

Audio 3

The presence of speculators in Karamoja is hampering the development of the mining sector in the region. This was revealed during the Mining Symposium organized by Ecological Christian Organization, ECO in Moroto on Wednesday.

Jackson Angella Nawot, an elder and vice chairperson of Moroto District Mineral Watch Platform says the speculators have stood in the way for better bargaining power for the local community in the region.

Citing Tororo Cement and DAO Marble Limited in Moroto, Nawot observes that landowners were hijacked by an individual only identified as Haji Siraj to append signatures for the land giveaway which has since become an issue of contention.

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Derrick Lutalo, a Program Manager with Uganda Consortium on Corporate Accountability observes that speculators have taken advantage of the ignorance of the locals in the area. He explains that dealing with speculators leaves the community in confusion especially when they begin demanding for their rights.

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But Nathan Mushesha, an official from the Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development says speculators are allowed in the mining industry.

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There are still issues of surface rights surrounding the four mining leases in Karamoja. They include Tororo Cement with two licenses for Limestone in Tapac Sub County, DAO Marble Limited and Jan Mangul in Rupa Sub County.

While the companies claim that they paid the landowners, residents still insist that no compensation was given to them.

Tororo Cement, after serious discussions preceded by protests from the community in Kosiroi, recently managed to pay the community 50 million shillings.

However, issues of artisan miners being exploited at the mining site, corporate social responsibility and non-payment of locals continue to cause commotion in the mining sites.