Kasaija Asks IGG To Probe Kilembe Mines Investor Top story


In short
Reports have indicated that a former Minister was bribed with over 3.5 billion shillings to influence the award of the concession to the fictitious Chinese firm.

Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija has asked the Inspectorate of Government to investigate corrupt practices in the award of copper mining concession to a Chinese investor.
The IGG according to Kasaija is supposed to investigate whether there were any corruption attributable to any individual who participated in the concession before or after Tibet Hima was the concession.
Kasaija in his letter dated 3rd July 2017 did not forward any name from his Ministry or the Energy and Mineral Development  ministry to the IGG for investigation.

Reports indicated that a former Minister was bribed with over 3.5 billion shillings to influence the award of the concession to the fictitious Chinese firm. The said Minister according to sources is a prominent politician from Rwenzori. The suspected politician according to the sources is no longer representing the area in Parliament. 
Tibet Hima took over operations of the mine from Kilembe Mines Limited in 2013 a concessionaire for 25 years. It had reportedly pledged to invest US$175mn towards the rehabilitation of the mine and upgrade a power plant.

Kilembe Mines surrendered its mining leas, exploration license and electricity license  to Tibet Hima.

Tibet Hima was among others  required to rehabilitate Mubuku power station and expand its capacity from 5 megawatts to 17.6 megawatts and put up a self-reliant renewable energy plant.
Tibet Hima has been receiving revenue from Uganda Electricity Transmission Company  limited for power generated  from Mubuku power dam. 

Under the concession agreement, Tibet Hima was supposed to pay government 15% performance guarantee, and pay annual concession fees. But Kasaija says it defaulted in paying concession fees even after government had granted it a six-month grace period.
The Government of Uganda on 5th May 2017 served a notice of termination of Tibet Hima Mining Company's 25-year concession at Kilembe Mines.

Matia Kasaija said the termination was caused by a range of breaches including the failure to pay the annual concession fees of $1,005,000, failure to provide an exploration guarantee, and failure to deposit a 15 percent performance guarantee on commencement of the concession.

Meanwhile the process of winding up the concession has begun with the appointment of the winding up committee. The concession agreement according to Kasaija required the concessionaire and government to appoint a five-person winding up committee.
Government previously nominated Noah Mwesigwa as the chairperson of the winding up committee but Tibet Hima for unexplained reasons objected to his appointment. Noah Mwesigwa is a commercial law lawyer in Kampala.
The wind up process should have commenced this week if the first 60-day termination notice was heeded to.
The Finance Ministry revoked the first termination notice issued in April when Tibet Hima objected to Noah Mwesigwa's nomination.

The new winding up committee includes Jocelyn Ategeka from Ministry of Finance, Agnes Agaba from Ministry of Energy. The concessionaires did appoint Lei Wei Gou and Bi Lei.

The Kasaija said while Tibet Hima had received and accepted the Notice of Termination, he investor continues to asset strip and is vandalising the mines in addition to ferrying away several assets belonging to the Government.
Tibet Hima has in the past been warned by National Environment Management Authority NEMA for flouting environmental regulations on waste disposal.

The Company reportedly attempted to lure the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to grant it permission to export the mineral tailings under the guise that it was taking them for testing. The tailings from Kilembe Mines are stockpile of copper that was left behind before was smelted.