Hoima Mayor Cited In Forest Encroachment Wrangles

By George Busiinge The former Hoima Municipal Mayor Francis Atugonza is on the spot for aiding encroachment on Bugoma forest reserve in Kyangwali sub-count, Hoima district. Atugonza is alleged to have deployed hundreds of encroachers in Rwempuni village which is part of Bugoma forest reserve. The group is currently carrying out illegal cultivation and timber harvesting inthe reserve.The Kisindi sector manager Francis Madrama made the accusation onThursday while parading five suspects who were arrested forcultivating and harvesting timber in the forest reserve. The suspects include Abdul Mugisa, Muhesi Baruku, Shaban Ahmed all residents of Kabwoya sub-county in Hoima district, Herbert Kiyemba of Mitiyana district and Towendi Yakuti of Mayuge district. All thesuspects allegedly told NFA officials that they hired the land from Atugonza. According to Madrama, Atugonza hires each acre of land to theencroachers at Sh60, 000. He claimed that Atugonza’s agents have moved inside the forest by 300 meters…

Bunyoro Reawakens Demand For Fully Fledged University

By George Busiinge Academicians have asked government to make Gulu University Hoima campus a fully-fledged university since Bunyoro is the only region without a public university. The push to have Gulu University Hoima campus granted an independent university status comes at a time when a Memorandum of Understanding between Gulu University Main campus and Bunyoro kingdom that birthed Hoima campus nears to an end. Dr Felix Kaduchu, the chairman ad-hoc committee from Gulu University said they are assessing the progress of Gulu University Hoima branch after three years of existence and will recommend if it can be left to operate without affiliation. The committee last Friday Friday met Gulu University administration, Bunyoro kingdom officials and other education stakeholders to get their views about the institution. Kaduchu who is also the dean of studies at Gulu University main campus said they will produce a recommendation to the governing council for consideration…

Local Oil And Gas Sector Investors Warned Against Poor Quality Services

By George Busiinge Local investors in the Albertine Grabeen region have been advised to improve on quality of their services as one way of preparing to benefit from oil and gas sector. The good guidance was sounded by Dr. Lawrence Bategeka Member of Parliament (MP) for Hoima Municipality while meeting the members of Hoima Boda-boda Owners and Riders Association at Kasenta Guest House in Hoima town on Saturday. Bategeka who is also the vice chairperson for parliamentary committee on national economy and former deputy economic policy researcher at Makerere University, emphasized that the oil sector is expected to create enormous opportunities which he said will require quality services and products. He said that a lot of people of high class are expected in region as the country heads into oil production phase. These people, Bategeka said, will need quality food, accommodation, health services, transports and other services and products, things…

MP’s Life In Danger Over Hoima Land Dispute

By George Busiinge The life of Bugahya County Member of Parliament (MP) in Hoima district Pius Wakabi is in danger. The legislator told journalists last week that assailants are hunting for him. He explained that the assailants want to kill him because of a land dispute. He said the death threats started when he intervened in a land dispute that targeted evicting over 1000 people settling on Kasongoire and Kandanda-Ngobya central forest reserve land. The said land covering villages of Kiribya, Buyanja, Kisita, Busanga, Kiteema,Kihuhura, Nyagoma, Katugo, Bugandale, Nyakabigo and Bineneza was allocated to private investors to plant trees by National Forest Authority (NFA). One week ago, Wakabi clashed with National Forest Authority officials after he blocked a meeting that was called by NFA officials to introduce two investors contracted by government to plant trees on the Kandanda-Ngobya central forest reserve land. Wakabi argues that instead of giving the land…

Leaders In Bunyoro Rally Youth On Oil And Gas Skills Development

By George Busiinge Specialized skills training in relation to community needs in oil rich Bunyoro region will reduce unemployment burden, Member of Parliament (MP) Buliisa district Stephen Mukitale said at the opening ceremony of Albertine Business, Vocational College in Bugungu, Biiso sub-county, Buliisa district on Monday. “We need certified people to secure better paying jobs and skills training will avail these people if we are to benefit from oil and gas in our region,” Mukitale told a gathering at a vocational school opening. The legislator says people in Bunyoro need to acquire skills which can compete for jobs within East African region. Ever since oil and gas were discovered in Bunyoro and the great Albertine region, people have been moving to Bunyoro search for jobs. This, according to the MP, means that people in Bunyoro must be competitive by acquiring new skills. “Tourism and oil and gas are sectors experiencing…

Construction Of Ush2.3bn Auditor General’s Office Building Commence In Hoima

BY George Busiinge Construction of a new building to house regional offices for the auditor general to help track down expenditures in the oil and gas sector has commenced in Hoima district. State Minister for Finance and Economic Planning David Bahati disclosed that the government has secured a Ush2.294b grant from Germany for the project. The ground breaking ceremony for the one storeyed building took place at the Hoima district local government offices at Kasingo in Hoima municipality Monday Afternoon. Bahati said Bunyoro, and in particular Hoima, will become an economic base for the country in the years to come adding that government together with multinationals will establish infrastructures to enable oil production that is expected to last for 30 years. He said the government also plans to construct a $250 million airport at Kabaale parish in Buseruka Sub-County, Hoima district, and also tarmac about 10 roads worth $450 million…

New Buliisa Radio Station To Bridge Oil and Gas Information Gap

By George Busiinge Residents of Biiso sub-county in Buliisa district are jubilating after a radio station was opened up in their oil rich district. The radio station is called Biiso Fm (97.8fm). The residents say the radio station will bridge the existing information gap especially on matters concerning oil and gas development in the district. Buliisa is one of the districts in the great albertine region which has commercially viable oil and gas deposits awaiting extraction by government and international oil companies. Noelin Nsungwa a resident of Biiso says that many people, especially those who are uneducated, lack information about ongoing oil activities. She says that most people think oil will be served to them in jerrycans for selling. She says that she expects the radio station to update them on oil sector and other social issues. Kapere Selemosi, the LCI chairperson Biiso, says many people in the area have…

Rwamutonga Land Victims Given Free Medical Care

By George Busiinge Global Rights Alert in partnership with Bethesda Medical center at a three day free medical camp in Bugambe sub-county, Hoima district, offered free health care services to individuals who were evicted from their Rwamutonga land. Hundreds of beneficiaries mostly children and women turned up. The health camp conducted by over 30 Korean and Ugandan doctors started last on Monday, last week, in Bugambe and Kyangwali sub counties where hundreds of residents were diagnosed and treated. Ailments like Malaria, skin diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, ulcers and family planning services were attended too. More than 300 people from at least 250 families were evicted from their land in Rwamutonga in August 2014 to pave way for the development of oil and gas processing facility. They now live in a camp. The camp chairperson Alex Atumu commended the organizations for the medical care services saying many children and adults…

Total Moots Land Acquisition For Oil Infrastructure Development

By George Busiinge Total E&P, a company licensed to carry out oil exploration and production activities in Uganda has revealed intentions to start land acquisition and a resettlement process in the coming month of March. The acquisition of this land will pave way for the construction of permanent access roads, the Hoima-Tanga pipeline, a Central Processing Facility, well pads and settlement camps.Addressing Buliisa district stakeholders at the district offices last week, a representative from Total E&P Moses Abigaba, revealed that in the event of ensuring these developments, all stakeholders in the district will participate. Abigaba also noted that where the footprints of the projects will be small and without impact on residential structures, physical displacements of people will most likely be avoided. However, Abigaba also confirmed that where bigger impacts are realized, resettlements of displaced people will be ensured within their communities or neighborhoods. He said Total E&P is committed…

Parents In Bunyoro Advised To Educate Children

Bugahya Member of Parliament Pius Wakabi Rujumba has called upon parents in Bunyoro region to invest in children education so that they can part of the oil and gas revolution ongoing in the Albertine grabben. Rujumba said this at Buraru Church of Uganda, Kyabigambire sub-county in Hoima district during his the thanksgiving of new appointed Bishop Samuel Kahuma for his appointment as new bishop Bunyoro Kitara Diocese. Rujumba also asked parents to always pack lunch for their children if academic standards are to improve in the county. He added that some parents don’t pacpk food for their children which makes them escape from the classrooms. He said “Bunyoro region has a lot of food I don’t see why parents cannot pack food for their children. Bunyoro Kitara Diocese Bishop Rev. Samuel Kahuma called upon Christians to support their leaders at all levels if they are to be effective. Bishop Kahuma…
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