Oil & gas

Govt, Oil Companies Must Respect Communities’ Rights

The author: Doris Atwijukire

Following his acquittal of five charges by the Makindye General Court Martial, help http://ccrail.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-upload-media-v1-1-endpoint.php former National Leadership Institute boss Col Shaban Bantariza has asked court to acquit him on the two other standing charges related to misappropriation of the funds meant for purchase of the institute tractor.

Bantariza says that the process of his suspension from the position of NALI Director was fueled by some top army officers who had wrangles with him.

Bantariza told court that the implication on him to have got involved in misconduct while at the institute came after his refusal to give out over one hundred cows to the head of Kaweweta School to start a school farm.

Bantariza says that he received a call regarding his suspension in Mpigi on his way to Kabale two days before independence.

“I received a call from Col Katirima asking me to come and hand over the Institute to him, stuff http://cosmeticscop.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-post-comments-list-table.php on the directives of the CDF Gen Katumba Wamala.”

He says that a five to ten minutes handover ceremony was held in the institute hall and it was announced there that he had been suspended from the post of director as investigations went on.

“A new commandant for the school Col Kaitirima was announced, this I was ordered to keep my phone on as they investigated my issues, but then I was not given time even to go back to my house to pack my belongings.”

“I remembered that at one time, Lt Katarima had asked me to give him 100 cows from the institute farm but I refused asking him to accompany his request with a word from either the CDF or from the office of the president because the institute was under the office of the president,” added Bantariza.

He says that he was afterwards accosted for being too obedient to the Office of the President than the army where he was a servant.

In the board of inquiry, Bantariza was asked a number of questions which included how much money was he getting , why was he mistreating soldiers, what were the purchases and expenditures he made,  what was his source of income.

“I answered them that the source of money I used in running Nali was from the office of the president.

I told them that I had bought an ambulance for the institute, a pickup truck for administration, a tractor, a school van for moving staff in and out, I had also purchased the director’s Land cruiser Prado vehicle, constructed the Director’s house, a 400 sitter Lecture hall, public address system and renovated other  buildings”

He added that as he was on duty in Kyankwanzi he used to receive Shs 90,000 as his monthly allowance from UPDF and his juniors were getting between 30,000 to 35000 per month.

Bantariza further revealed it that the tractor for the institute registration number UAN 652Z was purchased by the institute through the legally laid procedures and was not a donation as some people alleged.

“The tractor was bought with the approval of the NALI Public accounts committee which passed it in their resolutions and later a work plan for its purchase was submitted to the office of the president for approval and the payments were later made by the financial officer at the institute Capt Edison Muheirerwa.

“For the same financial officer Capt Edison to testify against me, I was not shocked because he was a prosecution witness who had to do his duty because he had spent a whole year in Military prison in Makindye without being brought for trial. He must have been looking a way of being released.”

The case was adjourned to 24th February for the state to cross examine Bantariza.
By Doris Atwijukire

Recently, ailment http://creativecommons.org/wordpress/wp-includes/embed.php U.S based oil waste management firm, sildenafil http://dejanmilutinovic.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-upgrader.php McAlester Energy Resources limited ceased its operations from Uganda.

This came after the company was involved in a land deal that  left over 200 families homeless, and http://chelseamamma.co.uk/wp-includes/compat.php in Rwamutonga village, Bugambe sub county, Hoima District since August last year.

The land totaling 485 hectares is being claimed by a local business man (Mr.Tibangwa) who had intended to lease it to McAlester Energy Resources Limited with a purpose to construct a waste management facility for the oil industry.

As Ugandans, we appreciate the company’s decision to withdraw from this land deal that involved gruesome human rights violations.

The Rwamutonga people were ruthlessly evicted from their land, their houses were destroyed, people’s gardens of maize and cassava were slashed to the ground, banana stems were also cut down, potatoes uprooted, dried maize and beans burnt and even goats were looted.

The evictions were especially controversial, as there was no due notice. People were neither compensated for interests on the land nor were they given alternative homes. One of the community members gave them land where they set a camp. In this camp, people live in inhuman and degrading conditions.

McAlester Energy Resources Limited’s decision should be a lesson to government and all companies involved in the oil and gas sector.

They should ensure protection and respect for community social economic need and rights in every infrastructural development. It is however unfortunate that government which should safeguard and protect citizens’ human rights continues to ignore such incidences.

The constitution provides that before taking your property, there should be prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation prior to the taking or possession of the property.

Ample evidence suggests that access to land is effective in helping rural households generate higher incomes through the sale of crops and the money saved when the family feeds itself from the land.

Yet, even though land constitutes the main asset from which the rural poor are able to derive a livelihood, much of the rural poor particularly the oil communities are losing their only source of livelihood to the helm of  individuals and investors with little or no compensation and are left to wonder what next.

However this could be avoided if government ensures that even before private individuals evict large number of people, they ensure people’s land and property rights   are respected, compensated and given alternative.

Further, government and companies should enhance standards and practices with regard to business and human rights so as to achieve tangible results for affected individuals and communities, and thereby also contributing to a socially sustainable development.

And as AFIEGO, we shall continue to be at the fore front in promoting the respect of human rights and ensure that the citizens especially the poor and vulnerable communities’ property rights are respected as a precursor to good governance in the oil sector.

Doris Atwijukire

Africa Institute for Energy Governance

datwijukire@afiego.org

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