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Hima Cement taken to court over Queen Elizabeth encroachment, illegal mining

Hima Cement (U) manufacturing plant in parts of Queen Elizabeth in Kasese district. NAPE has dragged the company to courts of law over illegal mining. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Hima cement is in trouble after activists under the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) dragged them to the High Court over encroachment into Queen Elizabeth National Park, and engaging in the illegal mining of limestone.

The activities in their law suit contend that the cement company carries out activities likely to harm the environment and peoples’ lives and violates the rights of Ugandans to clean and healthy environment as enshrined in Article 39 of the constitution.

In 2008, Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) permitted Hima Cement to mine limestone in Queen Elizabeth National Park, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated reserve.

The environmentalists are challenging the validity of the certificate of approval of environment impact assessment issued by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and power of UWA to issue the mining license and wildlife permit authorizing mining of lime stone in a national park.

“It is the public interest and in the interest of justice that NEMA and  UWA the statutory agencies charged with the authority being impugned be added as parties to the suit to explain their position so as to assist court reach a just conclusion,” reads in part the court documents.

They are now seeking court to add NEMA and UWA on their case.

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