MOROTO – The directorate of geological survey and Mines has directed all mining companies to pay royalties covering 10,000 tones to the government in advance before transporting raw materials from Karamoja to their various factories.
On November 1, 2018, the directorate of geological survey and Mines wrote a letter and pinned it to various notices board in Moroto alerting all investors about decision by government banning any transportation of marble and limestone outside Karamoja.
The letter which was signed by Mr. Gerald Eneku the mineral inspector in the ministry of minerals in charge of Karamoja region explains that there has been illegal transportation of Marble from Moroto district to Jinja, Kapek factories without following the right full procedures.
“There has been illegal transportation of Marble and limestone from Moroto district to Jinja and Kapeka factories through I have carried out sensitization on procedures of acquiring Mineral rights from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in Entebbe office. People have turned out mining as the Ordinary market where you go buy and sell off marble without mineral rights. This contravenes section 3 and 4 of the mining act 2003. There has been hide and seek in payment of royalties whereby the transporters claim it’s the factory owners who are supposed to pay the royalties meanwhile the factor owners claim it’s the suppliers to pay the royalties,” letter reads partly.
Mr. Zackary Baguma the commissioner in the directorate of geological survey and mines, when contacted on Thursday 3rd of October, told PML Daily that geological and mines department has decided that all investors first pay royalties to the government in advance before transporting marble and limestone outside Karamoja.
He said the directive is aimed at checking on theft of minerals that go unpaid from Karamoja to various factories.
According to Mr. Baguma the government and local governments in Karamoja have lost billions of shillings due to indiscipline investors who transport marble and limestone from Karamoja but dodge to pay royalties.
He said some investors have already paid adding that it’s now the way to go by all investors to pay royalties.
“When an investor pays royalties in Entebbe, we give him a clearance form to take it to be stamped from our Moroto regional office for mineral inspections before the investors loads raw materials,’ he said.
Mr. Gerald Eneku the Karamoja regional inspector of minerals told daily monitor that he has so far received investors with the clearance sheet from the ministry after depositing money covering up to 10,000 tones.
“I have received some of them who paid money like Goodwill those ones will be allowed to transport marble and limestone under tight close supervision to check their tones,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the move has been welcomed by the district officials and miners across the region saying it was long overdue.
Mr. Francis Kiyonga LCV Amudat district said the decision by the government to compel the investors to pay royalties first before transporting minerals is overdue by 15 years.