By Andrew Visper email@example.com
Summary: The uganda’s mineral sector is increasingly under capture, by a combination of state and state-affiliated institutions as well as powerful individuals with strong political untouchable connections which resulted into loss of Government tax.
The state minister for minerals, hon Sarah Opendi on 21 of June 2021 reported to parliament that she had received death threats from anonymous individuals whom she described as mafia’s that are promoting illegal mining. “They are on my neck, they want my head” Opendi told the parliament after her effort against illegal mining activities and injustice in mining sector that she tried to stop due to death, eviction and extortion of money.
Following the cry of Hon Opendi, this website PressUg Online Publication (www.pressug.com) carried out deep investigation on how protection mineral police unit commanded by ASP Keigomba Jescah and her Admin/Finance Mwesigwa Sarah Atamba connived with mafia’s IN promoting illegal Gold mining in Kassanda District formally Mubendde District.
Mwijukye Francis member of parliament Buhweju district also a parliamentary Commission, said that “as parliament, Police mineral protection unit PMPU we don’t know it’s chain of command, we even don’t know it’s mandate and it’s operating outside the law. PMPU is supposed to implement the orders of ministry of energy but it’s commander Keigomba Jescah say’s she is above the minister, she is not answerable to ministry of energy, not ministry of internal affairs, not parliament, she only said “am answerable to statehouse”. We want to interrogate and understand how can you have unit command who supposed to work under ministry and say I don’t work under energy ministry?”
“Keigomba Jescah has taken over power for the directorate of geological survey and mineral, she undermine other police, District police commander DPC. She doesn’t know how many guns that are in the district, they ordered arrest of people and detained them in their own office, after arresting they become judges, extorting people’s money” Said Mwijukye
He adds that, I saw president Museveni last time talking about parasites, the parasites are in the mineral sector and unfortunately, they are using your name, saying for us we are known in statehouse, “the president is our father no one can defeat me” words of SP Keigomba Jescah. If president Museveni is dealing with parasites, there’s Keigomba on your door, even before talking about UNRA, URA, KCCA and etc deal with Keigomba Jescah your daughter then we know your very serious dealing with parasites because charity begins at home.
Speaking to Bukya John Bosco chairperson Uganda association of artisanal and small-scale Miner’s ‘UGAASM’ and Mubende united Miner’s assembly ‘MUMA’ explained that eviction of minerals are not only allocated at Mubende but also Kassanda, Buhweju and etc unfortunately PMPU is targeting other areas in time.
However UGAASM shall stand with anybody/organization or institutions both in Government and not in Government that support legalization of mineral business in Uganda.
Following the said illegal mining spearheaded by Keigomba Jescah the commandant protection mineral police unit ‘PMPU’, Bukya appealed to Government to organize ESM and SME groups in the country should be legalized and their working area should be marked out and licensed in the way for Government benefits through taxation from organized group and also improve income and livelihood of people that Government needs.
“The PMPU operations should be suspended so that investigations can be done well, we call upon state house anti corruption unit, IGG and human rights commission to investigate this matter and PMPU officers who involved themselves in crimes brought into book and responsible for miss management of people” Said Bukya
INJUSTICE IN MINERAL SECTOR, KASANDA DISTRICT.
Emmanuel Kibirige, the national coordinator Uganda association of artisanal and small scale Miner’s ‘UGAASM’ also Secretary Genera Mubende united Miner’s assembly ‘MUMA’ explained the terrorist actions committed by PMPU against area community residents who were hired by PMPU to work on it’s behalf and later alone turned against them which caused death and some jumped with disabled while others mentally traumatized.
Emmanuel stated that, for the last three years and a half, we traveled across the country after Mineral eviction in Mubendde. The injustice along over due, people don’t want to talk the same and things happen day every day, people have been beaten, killed and etc. The area of lugwongwe and lujingi is under capture even the area police have nothing about it, because you can report any case not even to let you know that they will work on it.
Emmanuel continue told this website that in 2017 before the eviction took place, they talked about the threats of foreigners in mining, death of people in mining areas, un cleared Gold and population increase, unfortunately the population of Lujingi more than doubled after eviction, the only change that geared they removed the tents bad a chance the area born people has nothing they benefits in Minerals apart from PMPU pretending to protect Gold yet it goes day and every day through their commandant.
He adds that, there must be Minerals rights in Uganda and Minerals holders it’s their responsibility to pay government tax? “Today PMPU is in charge of mining in lugwongwe and lujingi where are they pay? No freedom of speech at all minei area zones apart from their own children, I don’t think that any one can go and investigate the things that happened there and reports the truth? I don’t know” Emmanuel Said
“We are trying to find out but what not happened at the end we shall fight back, we have been displaced fir the last three yeats, my own land I can’t access it just because PMPU using it without my authority. Remember without legalization of Minerals there will be no peace in Sector” noted Emmanuel
Responding by the technocrats, Bwesigye Don Binyina, executive director Africa centre for energy and mineral policy ‘ACEMP’ told this website that what PMPU is doing it’s the role of directorate of geological survey and mines unfortunately PMPU taken over still the supervisory and regulatory rules in the mining act 2003. Many miners, those involved in mining Gold, Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten in central, easteriand Western Uganda has been harassed and tortured by PMPU.
However, the mining sector can’t progress with such institutional and operational contradiction includes politics will and an incongruous application of the mining law and policy. Meanwhile I therefore call upon the ministry of energy and mineral development to hasten the passing of the draft mining and mineral bill into law in order to out an end the on going controversial mining.
“PMPU to operate within the law and respect th the human rights of artisanal and small scale Miner’s and all the mineral supply chain sector and the Uganda chamber and petroleum to pick interest in issues artisanal and small scale Miner’s and convene an emergency crisis meeting for all mineral sector stakeholders to discuss” Said Bwesigye
Below is the list of the said officer’s, PMPU unit,
- SP Keigomba Jescah- Commandant
- AP Mwesigwa Sarah Atamba- Admin/Finance.
- SP Toshobya Abby Caleb- in charge of investigation.
- AP Kakuru Ian- Legal office.
- ASP Mwesigwa Joshoa OC airport PMPU.
- ASP Kafureka Isaac Kanzira- zonal commander Ankole.
- Wasiima Lauben- zonal Commander Kigezi.
- Musinguzi Karakire Moses- Operational officer.
- Mutabazi Yoweri- Logistic officer PMPU.
- Kamusiima Ruth- Deputy investigation.
- Ampurira Keneth- OC Muma Detach.
- Gumisiriza keneth- zonal commander Mubendde.
- Kantaro Annath- OC Busia custom’s.
- Kansiime Dancan- OC Buhweju.
- Tumwesigye Bonny- OC Busia.
- Namanya Daniel- OC Kasita and Lujingi.
- Mbabu Felestus- OC Komalenge.
- Mugwisagye levis- OC Lugwongwe.
- Biringi Sakinal- in charge of revenue.
- Aryampa Natharn- OC Lubaali.
Following the investigations, next week this website will be posting the second phase of this story targeting victims.