They claim that they were not consulted before a decision to license the Chinese firm to operate in their area was taken by government.
A rift has broken out between residents of Kyamuhunga Sub County in Bushenyi and Sinal Minerals Investments (SMI) a Chinese mining firm. The residents in the villages of Nyakazinga, Kikumbagazo, Kibona and Nyakatende are protesting a decision by Sinal Mineral Investments to open up a gold mining field in their villages.
They claim that they were not consulted before a decision to license the Chinese firm to operate in their area was taken by government. Residents have blocked Sinal Mineral Investments from carrying out any activities in their area until their grievances are addressed. Ignatius Mushokye, Kyamuhunga Sub County LC III chairman says that they are worried that the mining activities could destroy their crop gardens as they clear roads for heavy trucks to ferry the minerals.
Mushokye says that the residents also want government to explain how much they will get from the mining activities.
He insists that local governments are entitled to some royalties from any mining activities carried out within their territories. Willis Bashasha, Bushenyi LC V chairman says that they have organized a meeting between the company and residents to sort some of issues before mining can take place.
He blames the current stand off on the Chinese firm saying that they moved in without harmonizing something with the community that is likely to be affected by their activities. Bashasha however appeals to the residents not to block the investor saying that some positive benefits like employment will accrue from the project.
sinal minerals investments