Towns
Explorer’s license renewal petition ‘premature’
Publish Date: Jun 27, 2014
Explorer’s license renewal petition ‘premature’
The position of government in the court petition is contained in an affidavit file by Attorney General Peter Nyombi (pictured)
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Andante Okanya

Government has described as “premature” a petition filed in court by a mineral explorer that is aggrieved that its license is yet to be renewed.

Government’s position is contained in an affidavit sworn by the acting commissioner Geological Surveys at the Energy and Mineral Development ministry, Edwards Katto.

The affidavit, filed on June 23 by government’s chief legal advisor – the Attorney General – is in response to a petition by Katwe Geothermal Power Project Limited.

‘Baseless complaint’

In the petition filed at the civil division of the High Court in Kampala, the explorer laments that it has not been given a license, despite filing its application for renewal before expiry of the current license due this year on June 27 (today).

But Katto says the law prescribes a mandatory procedure that must be adhered to, before a license can be renewed.

He says the firm’s complaint is baseless, and wants court to dismiss the petition on grounds that it is premature, incompetent and without merit.

“The Geological Survey and Mines department has been diligently reviewing the renewal application, which reviews include technical reviews by geologists and mining engineers,” he says, adding that a response through courier has been dispatched to the company through FedEx mail delivery service.

The mail contains information on the status of their application, highlighting areas which may be improved.

On June 6, Katwe Geothermal Power Project Limited filed an application for judicial review at the civil division of the High Court, contending that it has fulfilled the requisite paperwork.

Judicial review is conducted by the High Court to scrutinize proceedings plus decisions taken by subordinate courts, inferior tribunals or Government bodies.

The company states that it fulfilled the law regulating mining and applied for the license three months in advance before expiry of the current license.

'Denying constitutional right'

The application is supported by the affidavit of the company’s managing director Henry Lwetabe who states that the company’s current license was granted on May 30, 2011 for a period of three years.

Lwetabe notes that the initial license was granted to Lupampa Muzira, who then legally transferred it to Katwe Geothermal in a transfer instrument dated March 23, 2012.

The firm’s MD explains that when he inquired from the commissioner about the status of the application on the renewal on May 28 this year, he was informed that a court order had been obtained on April 24, blocking the renewal.

He explained to the commissioner the implication of the court order, which was limited to the acquisition of shares in the company, and not its operational license.

Government’s action, he laments, amounts to denying the company’s shareholders their constitutional right to practice their profession and carry out a lawful business.

The case file has been allocated to Justice Benjamin Kabiito as court is yet to deliberate on the issues raised.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Forestry authority gets new board of directors
The National Forestry Authority (NFA) has sworn in a new board of directors following the expiry of the term of the old one...
How thugs attacked 25 Bwebajja families
On Wednesday, last week, a gang of thieves raided two villages in Bwebajja, meting terror onto the residents....
Journalist shot while covering Besigye sues gov’t
The journalist was shot by a policeman while covering the return of then-FDC leader Dr. Kizza Besigye from Nairobi in 2011....
National census kicks off
All security agencies have been put on a high alert as the National Population and Housing Census that kicks off....
Ugandan’s health literacy levels very low
Ugandan’s health literacy levels are still very low, a private consultant on health and communication has said....
Buikwe residents benefit from health camp
Health concerns in Buikwe district need urgent attention, the district Woman MP Dora Mpiima has disclosed....
Do you think banning the sale of single cigarette sticks will help regulate tobacco production?
yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter