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Ugandan gold miners exported 8,000kgs but declared only 16kgs

President Museveni inspecting gold at Africa Gold Refinery

President Museveni inspecting gold at Africa Gold Refinery

Gold miners in Uganda officially declared only 16.3kgs despite exporting at least 8,691kgs declared, civil society organisations, the Anti-Corruption Coalition (ACCU) and Transparency International Uganda (TIU) have said.    

Marlon Agaba, the head of programmes at ACCU and Elizabeth Kulume the programmes assistant at TIU said that based on records from the Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), miners declare less than 3 per cent of gold extracted every year.

The team said that their recent visit to the Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines (DGSM) revealed that the only 16.3kg of gold was declared by different miners yet URA cleared exportation of 8,691 kgs in the financial year 2016/2017.

Agaba said they suspect there is connivance of miners with officials at DGSM to under-declare extracted gold or it was a deliberate effort by miners to hoodwink the responsible body that gold scarce which is not the case.

“It is very difficult to track the output and determine the royalties drawn from the sector. The body responsible for inspecting mines issued out gold export permits for 16.281kg, compared to URA, which indicates that 8,691kg of gold valued $339.09 million were exported from Uganda in the financial year 2016/2017,” Kulume said.

Kulume noted also cast doubt on why some gold export permits for an exporter were supported by export permits from Trade ministry as opposed to being issued by DGSM as stipulated by the Mining Act, 2003.

Efforts to speak to the DGSM director Zachary Baguma and permanent secretary Energy ministry, Robert Kasande, were futile as they did not respond to repeated calls. Mining Regulations (2004) an instrument of the Mining Act (2003), the minerals obtained under a mineral right or under mineral dealer’s license may only be exported under an export permit granted by the commissioner at DGSM in the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

Agaba said under declaration of extracted gold does not only hamper the country’s economy but leaves permanent damage to areas where an extraction has been done since there will be no financial resource to land restoration.

“There is no evidence of payment of royalties on the exported gold. This implies that Uganda lost revenues ranging from $3.39 million to $16.95 million in royalties from the undeclared gold exports and imports depending on the applicable rates of 1 to 5 per cent for the imported or locally mined gold respectively,” Agaba said.

The CSOs concerns were raised in auditor general reports of 2014 and 2015 where Shs 679 million of unpaid royalties by Hima Cement had been registered. This was attributed to failure by DGSM to enforce payments.

The auditor general advised the government to expedite the investigation of the discrepancies with a view of recovering the prescribed royalties. CSOs have called upon the government to put in place measures to nip corruption and human rights abuses in the extractives industry.

“Most importantly, we call upon the government to ensure proper implementation of policies to address the issue of royalty sharing not only to increase the percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but also ensure that the royalties benefit the communities in which mining activities take place,” Agaba said.

Comments

+1 #1 WADADA roger 2019-09-19 09:18
I beg to differ, i think the Ugandan gold miners exported 8,000kgs out of which only 16kgs was genuine gold and was from Congo
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0 #2 Akot 2019-09-19 13:04
WADADA roger,

I would like to agree with you because if this was true, these gold miners would be so rich living in beautiful houses, go for medical treatment abroad!

Without bringing down the tribalistic system & UNITY to throw Museveni out, tribal lands with natural land riches can break away from Museveni's Uganda to be 'independent' to manage their land riches & give themselves social services!

Is there any reason Museveni is chief tribal leader in a zone he has no tribal land, yet controls all tribal land riches, thus make Ugandans illegal miners, treated as thieves?

Why are Ugandans poor beggers, considered illegal miners in a country formed by their tribal lands?
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0 #3 karemere 2019-09-19 13:19
Quoting WADADA roger:
I beg to differ, i think the Ugandan gold miners exported 8,000kgs out of which only 16kgs was genuine gold and was from Congo


That is a possible explanation BUT transparency requires "clarity" and not assumptions.

Further, why are export licenses for gold operated by two institutions that do not necessarily share their data sources?
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0 #4 Lakwena 2019-09-19 15:25
Since January 1986; from the head of state to village hilly billies, dishonesty rules in Uganda.

In other words, it is bewildering and heartbreaking. At this level and rate of dishonesty, how can a county ever develop and/or achieve the magic middle income status?

Never!
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0 #5 WADADA roger 2019-09-19 17:09
Quoting karemere:
Quoting WADADA roger:
I beg to differ, i think the Ugandan gold miners exported 8,000kgs out of which only 16kgs was genuine gold and was from Congo


That is a possible explanation BUT transparency requires "clarity" and not assumptions.

Further, why are export licenses for gold operated by two institutions that do not necessarily share their data sources?


Guess what, ebya license gwe obimanyi, i can assure you further that out 8,000kgs exported, the so called 16kgs that was declared was for purposes of getting licenses renewed, the likes of Buchana who was arrested the other day and imprisoned play with gold on the black market without any one bothering them, it a banana republic
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+1 #6 rubangakene 2019-09-19 18:47
What do you expect in a broken shit-place, eh? "Every dog takes care of its own shit" (Ki lagwok man ki cet tere).
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0 #7 kabayekka 2019-09-19 19:19
This is the sort of African official manoeuvring as in Mobutu's times, where even the oil revenue gets lost in these African countries eg Nigeria.

How can this Parliament of Uganda provide all the powers to one person so that he or she can declare to the whole world that all that oil or all that gold in this country is mine?

There are many citizens of this country that are watching to see that this Parliament accepts term limits to return in this country. Candidates who have benefited from such a constitutional amendment cannot be allowed to pursue further privileges of such rule or leadership.
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+2 #8 Lysol 2019-09-19 22:40
From that picture it's a joke of gold bars (too small). Ugandan steals/loots gold from the Congo. The regime has always looted it's neighbors.

Next time it will be uranium from Somali which it's trying to steal by posing as peace keepers.
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