6 July 2017

Uganda: Inspectorate of Government to Investigate Kilembe Mines Concession

The Finance ministry has asked the Inspectorate of Government (IG) to investigate if Tibet Hima Mining Company Limited, a Chinese company, compromised some individuals to bag the Kilembe Mines concession.

Should it be found that some individuals were compromised, appropriate action should be taken against the individuals, the State minister for Investment, Evelyn Anite, has said.

She did not say what action.

The ministry wrote to the IG on July 3.

"Several allegations have come up suggesting that there may have been some corrupt practices involving a number of individuals that unfairly influenced the final award of the concession to Tibet Hima," Ms Anite told Parliament on July 5.

"The ministry of finance has asked the IGG [Inspector General of Government] to urgently investigate whether there were any corrupt actions attributed to any individuals who participated in the concession before and after it was awarded to Tibet Hima.

Last week, the Leader of the Opposition in the Tenth Parliament, Winnie Kiiza, questioned the award of the concession to what she tagged "quack investors".

The Daily Monitor had earlier reported that President had "cancelled the mining firm's contract" after he got information that a former minister had been given a $1m (about Shs3.5b) bribe to influence the deal.

The paper also reported that the concessionaire was nothing more than a motorcycle assembling expert and that the concessionaire had bribed officials in the ministries of Finance, Energy and Mineral Development as well as the in the Attorney General's Chambers.

During debate on the matter last week, Ms Kiiza said although the company should, from 2013, have been remitting a $1m (Shs3.5b) concession fees to the government annually, it has not been doing this.

She also said that the Chinese have been collecting rent from Kilembe's housing estate, earning from the sale of electricity in Kasese District, scrap and from poles.

Ms Kiiza suggested that the government should recover the money from the Chinese.

In the meantime, the government has issued notice to cancel the commission and appointed Ms Agnes Alaba of the Ministry of Energy and Ms Joselynn Ategeka to represent Uganda in the winding up of the concession. Tibet Hima Co Ltd appointed Messrs Li Wei Guo and Bi Lei.

Uganda

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