By: Doris Atwijukire
Since December 2013, erectile http://crfg.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/wordads.php government has been compensating the 7018 residents affected by the oil refinery in Kabaale parish, Buseruka Sub County, Hoima district.
This is to pave way for the construction of a USD 2.5bn oil refinery by a Russian firm RT Global Resources that won the contract in February this year.
While the majority of the people have been compensated and left the area, those who preferred relocation have neither been catered for nor are sure as to when they will be resettled.
This group and those who disputed the compensation due to low rates and poor valuation and did not sign are still occupying the area and are living in very inhuman conditions.
Some of these accepted the compensation after they were coerced into signing documents in acknowledgment of receipt of payment but government has never actually compensated them.
Delayed compensation for the refinery affected people in Buseruka is among the many community concerns amidst government efforts to acquire the 29square Kilometer piece of land proposed for the oil refinery.
The Refinery affected people have since the inception of the project complained of low compensation rates and the criteria used to arrive at these rates.
Secondly, there has been concern over the valued properties missing on the list or being misplaced. Moreover, the project implementers, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and Strategic Friends International, declared 2nd June 2012 the cut-off date and stopped people from carrying out any long term developments on their land. Any developments after the cut-off date were therefore excluded from compensation.
During a recent visit by Africa Institute for Energy governance (AFIEGO) and some community members from Buliisa district to Kabaale, Hoima district-the refinery area, the affected people expressed their concerns on how government happily claims over 70% of people have been compensated, yet, those who left out are also human beings whose rights need to be respected.
AFIEGO facilitated the visit to enable the communities from Buliisa and Hoima share experience and learn from each other since they are all affected by oil.
Nankya Margret, a refinery affected person from Kyapaloni village said that government may rejoice that over 70% of the affected people accepted and received the compensation and have left the area.
However, the truth is that those who accepted compensation had no option as many could not stand the suffering.
She narrated how parents can no longer feed for their children, send them to school, they have no money or even shops where to buy basic goods such as salt, paraffin and soap. Moreover, the only two schools (Nyahaira and Kyapaloni) in the area were closed down. Nankya said they are at the mercy of God to protect them from the wild animals from the nearby Kabwoya game reserve and the “balalo’s” cows roaming villages.
These concerns were what forced a group of the refinery affected people, helped by AFIEGO to file a case in the high court of Uganda in March 2014. They are challenging the human rights violations in the refinery compensation and resettlement process and therefore want government to adequately and promptly compensate them.
Despite the efforts by refinery people to get justice, the officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development still maintain that the refinery compensation drive has not delayed, but is only being done in phases as earlier planned.
Government’s systematic neglect of these remaining refinery affected people is clearly against Article 26 of the constitution which provides that, every Ugandan has a right to own property and that such property can only be taken away after prompt, fair and adequate compensation prior to acquisition or possession of that property by the government. The remaining refinery people say therefore that government is violating their constitutional rights.
It will therefore be fair, if government compensates and relocates the remaining refinery affected people.
Police was yesterday engaged in running battles with former students of Centenary Community College in Kayunga district, viagra sale http://cloud.ca/wp-content/plugins/sitepress-multilingual-cms/inc/plugin-integration-nextgen.php after the students returned to vandalize the institute’s property, buy alleging that they were served fake documents and that the institute was not registered with the National Council for Higher Education.
The angry youths claim that wherever they go to seek jobs, malady their papers are thrown out with employers saying that the institute is not recognized by the council for higher education.
Students who allegedly used the social media to link up, organized themselves and yesterday stormed the institute’s grounds where they vandalized cars, dormitories, school kitchen, dining hall and went on to the study farm and slaughtered several cattle, goats and the chicken were set free.
“This was not a demonstration, property worth Shs100 million was destroyed, yet these are false allegations, the institute is registered with the council for higher education, we have reported the matter to police, we just urge students to calm down,” said Naboth Nyandere the institute’s principle.
According to Polly Namaye, the deputy police spokesperson, 18 of the former students have been arrested and are currently at Kayunga police station.
Meanwhile police have set up a meeting with the institute’s administrators to chart the way forward.