Oil Refinery Compensations Inequitable-Hoima Leaders

2265 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Bashir Hangi, The Ministry of Energy’s communication officer in charge of the refinery claims that government has achieved at least 60 percent progress in clearing the compensation claims. But area leaders are complaining of unfair treatment of the residents.

Local leaders in the refinery affected area of Kabaale in Buseruka, Hoima district claim that some of persons affected by the project have been given vacation notices without due compensation.

Since late last year, government embarked on the compensation of the over 7,000 affected persons in order to fully acquire the 29 square kilometer piece of land for the refinery. The refinery will be vital in processing crude oil now being drilled in the Albertine rift, into finished petroleum products.

Bashir Hangi, The Ministry of Energy’s communication officer in charge of the refinery claims that government has achieved at least 60 percent progress in clearing the compensation claims. But area leaders are complaining of unfair treatment of the residents.
 
Patrick Biingi, the chairman for Katooke, one of the affected villages says two of his residents were given eviction notices but could not find compensation money on their Bank accounts thereafter.
 
Biingi says when the matter was brought to the attention of Strategic Friends International; a company contracted by government to effect the compensations, the officials stated that the notices were issued erroneously.  He however questions why the residents’ money has never been wired to their bank accounts to date.

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However, Bashir Hangi, the Ministry of energy’s communication officer says no eviction notice can be issued out to anyone without being compensated. URN could not secure a comment from the implementers- Strategic Friends International.

Hangi argues that these accusations are being traded by people with property in different locations who have been given eviction notices for the already compensated property.
 
Meanwhile Kennedy Mugume, the project officer, forest governance at the Midwestern Anti-Corruption Coalition says their office has since been reliably informed that the eviction notices were erroneously given out to residents. Mugume adds however that MIRAC would follow up the matter to ensure that the residents are not in any way treated unfairly.

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