MOROTO – The ministry of minerals has tightened bolts against what they call rampant theft of raw materials from Karamoja by unregistered companies.
The ministry which is currently working with the police department in charge of the mineral protection unit has set up various roadblocks across Karamoja roads checking on any truck carrying raw marbles and limestone without movement permit.
Mr. Gerald Eneku, the ministry’s regional mineral inspector in Karamoja told PML Daily that the ongoing operation has reduced the number of trucks that used to transport minerals out of Karamoja without paying royalty to the government.
Mr. Eneku said there has been illegal transportation of marble and limestone from Moroto district to Jinja and Kapeka factories causing government and Karamoja districts to lose billions of shillings.
He said before the operations there used to be about 100 trucks transporting raw materials out of Karamoja on a daily basis but currently there are only 20 trucks the rest have stopped due to lack of valid documents from the ministry.
“Since we launched this operation two weeks ago we have registered few trucks now coming to carry stones, there used to be very many trucks about 100 taking minerals out of Karamoja but after the ministry tightening the issues many trucks have disappeared,” he said.
Eneku noted that the ministry has realized revenue from the companies adding that in less than two weeks they have collected Shs7 million which used not to be possible.
According to Eneku, any truck carrying stones without movement permits issued by the ministry of minerals will be impounded until the company clears.
He said the government charges every truck Shs5,000 per ton adding that if the truck carries 30 tones all the tones must be paid and the receipt issued to them by the ministry of minerals.
Karamoja region is located in northeastern Uganda, the region is vast with over 50 types of Minerals, such as Tantalite, Talc, gold, marble stones, Silver stones, Copper, Iron, gemstones, Chromites and others but most of the resources are yet to be explored.