Buhweju artisanal miners want licenses
Artisanal miners from Buhweju district are seeking licenses to explore gold, following their eviction from the fields by the Mineral Protection Unit.
In their petition to the Committee on Natural Resources on Friday, 18 October 2019, the miners under their umbrella body, Uganda Association of Artisanal Small-Scale Miners argued that mining is the biggest source of livelihood in Buhweju.
The Chairperson of the Association, John Bosco Bukya, told the committee that the artisanal miners are ready to start legal operations because they are organised and have been mining gold since 1918.
“Despite the fact that government has delayed to review the Mining Act, the current policy should be used to see these people licensed and doing business legally,” he said.
He also urged government to halt further alleged evictions of artisanal miners, saying that they have received information that there are planned evictions in Karamoja and Busia.
“Instead of harassing these small miners, let government assist them to get organised. As a national Association, we have tried to organise the small miners but it’s government’s role to do that,” he said.
The spokesperson of the Buhweju Artisanal Miners Association, Deusdedit Bainomugisha, recounted the events leading to the evictions, saying that the miners were given only two hours to vacate their mines.
“These people have been threatening us that they were going to evict us, and true to their word, they carried out their threat. They found miners on the fields and ordered them to leave, giving them no room to take some of their properties,” he said.
Bainomugisha accused the commandant of the Mineral Protection Unit, Jesica Kegomba, of intimidating miners after they petitioned President Museveni.
“She addressed people in one of the meetings and told them that she is answerable to the Inspector General of Police and the President. I can do whatever I want. I have the money and I can do anything I want. With all these events, we are worried,” he said.
Bainomugisha added that the Mineral Protection Unit is instead protecting and giving a Chinese mining company, Hebei, access to the mining fields.
The Buhweju MP, Francis Mwijukye, who was the lead petitioner called for the expeditious revision of the mining Act to legalize activities of artisanal miners.
“Government should recognise that artisanal mining is not a crime but a source of livelihood. Artisanal miners are not recognised and yet they exist,” he said.
Mwijukye also asked government to investigate the Mineral Protection Unit, saying that the officers violated the rights of miners in the process of evicting them.
“The miners were forced out of their homes and gardens since the mines are within their homesteads. Since then, some children cannot attend school and the locals cannot access their gardens,” said Mwijukye.
He added that despite evicting the locals and denying them access to their source of livelihood, the officers are engaging in extortion of money from the miners.
“They are asking for money from miners who seek to access their fields. The miners are forced to pay between shs500,000 to shs3million,” he said
The Chairperson of the Natural Resources Committee, KeefaKiwanuka, assured the miners that the issue will be handled objectively and expeditiously.
“We shall visit Buhweju and speak to the locals on the ground and come up with an informed report,” he said.
The Committee on Natural Resources is investigating the alleged eviction of over 250 artisanal miners from Buhweju district in August 2019.
Singer Bruno K Exposed For Neglecting His Son, Claims He Only Has One Child
The internet has been abuzz following accusations leveled against Bruno Kiggundu, popularly known as Bruno K, over his alleged neglect of his son, Seth Kiggundu. In a tweet, a user identified as Keith alleged that Bruno K had abandoned his only son, Seth, and only pays attention to his daughter, Briella.
Keith claimed that Vanessa, his best friend, had a baby boy with Bruno K, and the singer had refused to fulfill his parental responsibilities towards Seth. He further accused Bruno of making Vanessa’s life difficult in 2022, which caused her to loathe the singer.
While it is essential to respect the baby’s privacy, it is crucial to hold public figures accountable for their actions, especially when they involve the welfare of children. The allegations against Bruno K are serious and should not be taken lightly.
Child abandonment is a severe issue that affects many children worldwide. It is a form of child neglect that can lead to adverse effects on a child’s development, including emotional and behavioral problems. Children who are abandoned by their parents may experience feelings of rejection, anger, and low self-esteem, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
As a public figure, Bruno K has a responsibility to set a good example for his fans and followers, especially young people. Neglecting one’s child is not only morally wrong but also illegal under Ugandan law. The Children’s Act of Uganda provides that every child has the right to parental care and protection, and any parent who neglects their child can be charged with child abuse.
It is not clear whether the allegations against Bruno K are true, but if they are, he should take responsibility for his actions and do the right thing for his son. Children need both parents to grow up happy and healthy, and neglecting one’s child is unacceptable.
In conclusion, the allegations against Bruno K are serious, and if true, they represent a worrying trend of child neglect in Uganda. As a society, we must hold public figures accountable for their actions and demand that they do the right thing for their children. Let us all strive to create a safe and nurturing environment for all children, regardless of their family background.
Speaker Rt. Hon. Anita Among Orders Minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi To Stop Making Excuses For Not Establishing The Tribunal
Speaker of parliament Rt. Hon. Anita Among has ordered the Minister of Information, Communications, Technology, and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi to stop making excuses for not establishing the tribunal which she said has been pending for a long.
The speaker’s order followed Dr. Chris Baryomunsi’s attribution of the delay to create the Uganda Communications Tribunal to the recent Cabinet decision on the rationalization of agencies.
The speaker of Parliament Among emphasized the need for the tribunal in place.
“We need a tribunal. How sure are you that we are going to rationalize [government agencies]? We want a tribunal in UCC; we cannot do ad-hoc kind of operations,” Among said.
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Act makes provision for the creation of a tribunal that is supposed to handle complaints relating to the decisions of UCC as provided under Sections 60 and 64 of the Act.
He said this during the Wednesday, 22 March 20223 plenary sitting where he tabled the Uganda Communications (Fees and Fines) (Amendment) Regulations, 2023.
The regulations provide for fees and fines to be paid by telecommunication and broadcasting companies for spectrum or frequency access in order to improve telecommunication services.
His response was prompted by the Leader of Opposition (LOP), Hon. Mathias Mpuuga who accused the minister of ‘sleeping on the job’ by failing to fulfill the provisions of the UCC Act in regard to the creation of the communications tribunal.
“We have raised severally in our alternative policies the question of the minister failing to appoint the UCC tribunal. The minister is now the tribunal; he is acting as the complainant, prosecutor, and judge at the same time. The Ministry [of ICT] is holding media houses at ransom with no recourse to this tribunal,” Mpuuga said.
The Speaker referred the Regulations to the Committee on ICT and National Guidance for scrutiny with a strong caution to UCC not to start collecting fees until Parliament approves the regulations.
Section 93 of the UCC Act, 2013 states that, ‘the minister may, after consultation with the Commission and with the approval of Parliament, by statutory instrument, make regulations for better carrying into effect the provisions of this Act’.
Anti-gay Bill Will Impinge Upon Universal Human Rights, Jeopardize Progress In Fight Against HIV/AIDS In Uganda-White House
The White House and the European Union (EU) have joined the United Nations (UN) and other human rights groups in condemning the just passed Anti-homosexuality Bill.
The Bill that awaits assent from the president was passed by MPs on Tuesday night after a seven-hour heated session.
The bill introduces stricter penalties for people engaged in same-sex activities in Uganda including the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality.
It also proposes life in prison for the offense of “homosexuality” and up to 10 years in jail for attempted homosexuality.
Now White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre says the Bill is one of the most extreme laws targeting homosexuality in the world.
She warns that this will not only impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS but will also deter tourism and damage Uganda’s international reputation.
“We have great concerns with the passage of the Anti-homosexuality Act by the parliament of Uganda and increasing violence targeting LGBTQI+ persons,” Karine said.
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