Friday June 20 2014

Clerics tip government on oil

By Francis Mugerwa

Buliisa/Hoima- Senior religious leaders have asked government to address outcries from communities affected by oil operations.

Clerics under the Inter Religious Council of Uganda on Tuesday interfaced with communities facing displacement from a 29-square kilometer piece of land where government intends to build a refinery.

More than 100 residents presented a petition to the clerics, asking them to advocate for their rights to fair, adequate and timely compensation for their land.

“Our properties were undervalued while others were omitted during valuations. Some of us who accepted compensations have never received our entitlements while those who opted for relocation have never been resettled” the petition dated June 17 reads in part.

The Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Shaban Mubajje, said he was touched by people’s outcries, adding that mismanagement of natural resources in some countries had resulted into unrest and war.

The same concern was echoed by the Arch bishop of Kampala Diocese, Dr Cyprian Lwanga, who said government had a duty to promote peace and justice to ensure that oil becomes a blessing to Ugandans.

However, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner, Mr Godfrey Nyakahuma, said government had special interest in the oil refinery that would be used appropriately to develop Uganda’s oil resource.