Uganda: Truth on the Eviction of Mubende Gold Miners

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By Our Reporter

In the aftermath of the ruthless eviction of Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASMs) from the gold mines in Mubende District on August 3, 2017, where President Museveni said he had not given the directive but rather had only told the soldiers and other security agencies to be on standby.

Victims of that unforgettable day recount how security personnel had told them that the deployment was to support the process of registering the miners.

The artisanal miners were evicted by AUC Mining Company, a private investment that holds concession rights to the goldfields in Bukuya.

This lead to the creation of the Police Mineral Protection Unit and appointment of the commandant Ms. Jessica Keigomba to protect the miners in Mubende.

On Monday 25th May 2020, Ms. Jessica Keigomba spoke to the press on the issue of miners and shareholders who are being reported to the court by one investor Mustafa Semih who claims to have the rights on the site.

During the press conference held at Police Mineral Protection Unit in Entebbe. Commandant of the Police Mineral Protection Unit, Ms. Jessica Keigomba said that she is there to do her job and avoid corrupt people who are trying to exploit the miners and also stealing the gold. Commenting on an issue of one investor called Mustafa Semih who is trying to remove people from the land because he has the help of some top officials in Police, Ministry, and URA. The commandant said they will not rest till they get Mustafa saying he is a criminal with a lot of cases at the station.

She also added saying that those people at the site are the right people who are supposed to operate there because they have all the documents that instruct them to work.

 “As we speak now, my team is in the field of work. I can assure you that my workers have nothing to fear because the group in which I am is recognized and appointed by the government,” said Ms. Jessica Keigomba.

Speaking with Sasirwe Jonny, chairman of ansety miners in Uganda said that Mustafa Semih has no documents that show he is an investor but rather he is using big names in the ministry who want to steal from people for their own good.

Commenting on the issues of taxes, Sasirwe Jonny said they the type of tax they have to pay is called Loyalty Production and surface rent. He also added saying that URA is not supposed to step on the site till the matters in court are done but till now the URA officials are going there giving the miners a hard time something which is not right in the law.

He concluded saying that the Minister should wait for the court to rule because according to him (Sasirwe Jonny) he has all the paperwork showing transactions of the process because they did this for the goodwill of the people at the site.