President Museveni Faults MP over Exporting Raw Iron Ore

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President Yoweri Museveni has faulted Rubanda West Member of Parliament Moses Kamuntu Mwongyera for exporting raw iron ore. The MP owns Kamuntu Investments Limited, a company with a mining license in Kigezi region.
During the belated International Youth Day celebrations held in Kabale district on Friday, a group of youth led by Kabale District Youth chairperson Tadea Taremwa and Brenda Kiconco, from the National youth council praised Kamuntu for championing the establishment of an iron ore smelting plant in Rubanda district.
They said that with Kamuntu’s advocacy, the compensation of locals to pave the way for the establishment of the plant is ongoing and appealed to Museveni to consider awarding Kamuntu with a ministerial position.
Museveni equated Kamuntu to a farmer who sells a banana (locally in Rukiga called Embiire) instead of adding value by waiting for it to ripen, squeezing juice up to distilling Waragi. He says that Kamuntu’s practice contradicts the government policy of encouraging value addition and job creation.
Museveni argued that for each tone Kamuntu exports, he is paid 47 US Dollars (equivalent to 175,427 Uganda Shillings) compared to 600 US Dollars (2,239,503 Shillings) that he would get once it is processed from Uganda.
The President tasked David Bahati, the State Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives to explain if there are investors ready to establish an iron ore factory in Rubanda. On the assurance that investors under Modern Steel are in the process of getting a license to join the business, Museveni ordered Kamuntu not to export iron ore again.
In 2015, President Yoweri Museveni imposed a ban on the export of unprocessed iron ore and a ban on all other minerals.
In June 2023, Kamuntu appeared in Rubanda district with investors under Steam Investments Limited and surveyed a 420-acre public land located in Rugarambiro village, Muko sub-county, where they promised to establish a plant. The officials also surveyed other iron ore mineral deposits in the sub-county.
Later in July 2023, Kamuntu was embroiled in wrangles with artisanal miners under their umbrella Kigezi Iron Ore Artisanal Miners Association. They accused him of gross exploitation by failing to pay them. The wrangles forced Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa to intervene.
A Geological survey conducted by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development between 2006-2008 indicates the existence of 250 million tons of Iron ore deposits in Kigezi region pending extraction.
Data indicates that Iron ore deposits were mostly discovered in Kanungu District, Bukimbiri in Kisoro District, Muko, Nyamiringa, and Nyamweru sub-counties in Rubanda District and Buhara sub-county in Kabale District.
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