13 November 2013, Kampala – Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is set to start compensating at least 7,118 people in 13 villages in Kabaale parish, Buseruka sub-county, Hoima district, to make way for the construction of an oil refinery.
Kosea Wambaka, the head of party and programmes at Strategic Friends International (SFI), a private Ugandan firm contracted to compensate the affected people, told The Observer that after screening and training the residents, they would be paid, starting next week.
Government has earmarked Shs 78bn for the affected people.
“We have already submitted to the ministry of Energy the first list of affected residents, who have cleared everything, signed the consent forms and have no complaints for payment. I hope they will be able to receive their money by the end of this week or early next week,” Wambaka said.
He added that the money would be deposited on the affected people’s respective bank accounts. Wambaka’s assertion is in tandem with what Aston Kajara, the minister of state for Investment, recently told an oil conference in Kampala.
“Only 82 per cent have signed. Government is committed to paying those who have signed. The money will be paid through electronic fund transfer to the beneficiaries’ accounts. Those who have not signed will remain on their land until the complaints have been addressed,” he said.
Indeed, some residents’ compensation is likely to delay because they disputed the rates, saying they were too low or have other complaints. Wambaka revealed that at least 425, out of the more than 1,221 households, have refused to sign the consent forms transferring their land and property to the ministry of Energy upon compensation.
“Some 425 households have up to now refused to sign, but we have given [them] a second chance to rethink their decisions” he said.
However, Bashir Hangi, the communications officer of the Petroleum Exploration and Production department (PEPD), said some beneficiaries had already changed their minds.
Hangi told The Observer on Saturday, that those declining to sign had cited various reasons, including errors in the measurement of their property. Others were concerned that their properties were missing on the list.
– The Observer