People living around the Kilembe mines in Kasese district have threatened not to cooperate with the mine managers to leave the land on which they are squatting.
Yesterday Fred Kyakony, the General Manager of Kilembe Mines Limited, called a meeting of people living in the neighborhood of the mines. The meeting was intended to discuss security, the theft of company property and reports that a large number of people were encroaching on mines land.
The Kilembe residents gathered at 10 a.m. for the meeting, but Fred Kyakony didn't shop up. Instead, five hours later, he sent the company's security manager, Gideon Kusemererwa and the District Community Liaison Officer to represent him.
The crowd was irate. As soon as the Community Liaison Officer took his seat, they stood up and abandoned the meeting en masse.
Nickson Katya, the National Resistance Movement chairman for Kilembe sub-county, says people are tired of threats from Kilembe Mines Limited. He says that whenever there is theft at the mines, fingers are pointed at residents, despite the fact that there is no evidence against them.
Katya complains that no one is able to develop property in the area because they are under constant threat of eviction from the mines.
The Kilembe security manager says his boss did not deliberately snub the residents. He says Fred Kyakony had a prior engagement at Kasese Cobalt Company which he was required to attend.
Joseph Musana, the District Community Liaison Officer, advises Kilembe Mines Limited to sort out the conflict as soon as possible. He warns that if this is not done soon, tensions may escalate further.