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Parliament summons NEMA over Wakiso sand mining

By Juliet Lukwago

Added 13th March 2017 09:28 AM

Wakiso district chairman Matia Lwanga Bwanika clashed with the Chinese sand miners recently

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Parliament has summoned National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to explain circumstances surrounding the recent clash between Chinese sand miners and Wakiso district chairman, Matia Lwanga Bwanika.

Also summoned are Police and the Chinese. A case of illegal sand mining and assault has been opened up against the employees of the Chinese firm, Only You.

The resolution to summon was reached after the house committee on natural resources visited Lugumba-Naggombe Ssazi in Kasanje Sub County where the mining is being done.

Committee chairperson Alex Byarugaba, condemned the rate of sand mining, saying it was drying up the lake, rivers and swamps.

Byarugaba confirmed that those specifically summoned from Police, are the in-charge of defence at Kasanje Sub County and the internal security officer.

"We have called these people to explain what happened that day, because it gives a bad image to Ugandans, not only locally but internationally" he said. 

NEMA was not available for comment as several phone calls went unanswered.

Last week, Wakiso district chairperson Matia Lwanga Bwanika was involved in a bitter physical exchange with Chinese who were sand mining, using sophisticated gadgets without authorization from the district.

Wakiso district speaker, Simon Nsubuga, said councillors had resolved to put an end to the illegal mining.

Nsubuga cited illegal occupation of swamps and deforestation, as one of the ills dogging the district.

He noted that the perpetrators claim to be connected to senior public figures, and in so doing view themselves as untouchable.

"As we talk now, most of the swamps and forests in Wakiso district are already taken up, as unscrupulous people are cutting all the trees" Nsubuga said. 

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