21 AUGUST 2016
The Monitor (Kampala)
By Steven Ariong
Moroto — Residents of Tapac Sub-county in Moroto District have accused commissioners from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development of illegally giving Tororo Cement mining licence without consulting the local community.
The locals accused the commissioners on Friday during a meeting with Tororo Cement officials in Moroto.
The commissioners were in Moroto to discuss a land dispute between Tororo Cement and the community in Kosiroi village where the company has been mining marble stones.
On Friday last week, a group of elders and youth in the mining area of Kosiroi in Tapac protested and blocked trucks transporting raw materials to Tororo Cement until the company explained how it acquired the mining licence for 49 square kilometres without their knowledge.
They said for more than 15 years, Tororo Cement has been extracting marble stones in the area but refused to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the community or the district leaders.
Mr Joseph Otita, Moroto LC5 councillor representing Rupa Sub-county, wondered why the ministry gave Tororo Cement a mining lease without recommendation from the local community who are the land owners.
Mr David Omido, the logistics and utility manager at Tororo Cement, admitted they did not have any MoU with either the district administration or the local community. But he said they had requested the district leaders to prepare an MoU for signing but they failed.
However, former Moroto LC5 chairperson Mark Musoka said his office had drafted an MoU and asked Tororo Cement to facilitate the process but the company did not comply.
Mr Chris Rudigizah, the assistant commission mining said leases are granted to every interested investor as long as they meet the requirements.