Residents storm out of ministry meeting

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Residents on the land earmarked for the oil refinery in Hoima District stormed out of a meeting organised by the ministry of Energy to update them on the progress of the project.

Nyahaira village chairman Pascal Ozele welcomed the government delegation and reminded them that residents who accepted relocation were uncertain of when they would be resettled.

The meeting was held on Wednesday at Nyahaira Primary School. He said those who accepted compensation had left the area, leaving the remaining ones surrounded by bushes and at risk of being attacked by wild animals.

Call for actionHe said the residents who rejected compensation rates for being low and those whose properties were not valued need government action. After his address, several residents walked out of the meeting before the government delegation addressed them.

The meeting was also attended by the Hoima Resident District Commissioner, Mr Godfrey Nyakahuma, district chairman George Bagonza and other government officials. However some few residents stayed and the meeting proceeded. The chairman of the families who opted for relocation, Mr Richard Orebi, said despite persistent reminders to government, their cries to be resettled have not been addressed.

stronSome payments donestronMs Irene Batebe, a petroleum officer who was recently appointed by the President on the board of the National Oil company, assured the residents who remained in the meeting that government would address their concerns. She said government had already paid out Shs28 billion to the 52 per cent of the claimants and the remaining 48 per cent will also be paid.

“Government has sent a team of senior people to you. They have come with some of your answers. It is unfortunate that some of your colleagues have left even before listening to the message from government,” said the government’s refinery communications officer, Mr Bashir Hangi.

fmugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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