Minister Nankabirwa Promises The Artisanal Miners’ Association Trading License

Minister Ruth Nankabirwa promised to issue the group a trading permit, assuring that their activities would be lawful and possibly offering a way to end the ongoing disputes.


Artisanal miners and Kamuntu Investments Ltd, a business run by Rubanda West MP Moses Kamuntu, are at odds over ownership of iron ore mines in the Rubanda District. Ruth Nankabirwa, the minister of energy and mineral development, intervened in the dispute by pledging to issue the Artisanal Miners’ Association a trading license.

The conflict reached a breaking point on Thursday, July 13, 2023, when government representatives, including Minister Nankabirwa, State Minister for Minerals Peter Lokris, and State Minister for Trade David Bahati, visited the mines at Rwara Hill in Hamurwa Town Council.

A group of irate citizens, led by Mr. Narisis Kabatereine, vented their anger to the authorities and demanded money from Hon. Kamuntu. They contended that the ongoing argument had hampered the growth of their family. The neighborhood was enveloped in doubt as the tensions rose.

Minister David Bahati, however, stepped in and urged the miners to avoid disputes and work toward calm commercial operations. He underlined the significance of harnessing the region’s mineral resources for economic growth. Additionally, Minister Bahati revealed that President Yoweri Museveni’s administration planned to build an iron ore factory in the Rubanda District, specifically in Rugarambiro Village, Muko Sub-County. The creation of the plant would create work opportunities for the neighborhood, assisting families and fostering overall economic prosperity.

The artisanal miners persisted in their position, asserting that Hon. Kamuntu owed them an undisclosed sum of money, an allegation he adamantly disputed. The miners’ and Kamuntu Investments Ltd.’s ownership disagreement is still a hotly contested subject.

Minister Ruth Nankabirwa addressed the grievances of the offended citizens and expressed her gratitude for the formation of the Artisanal Miners’ Association while pledging to support their cause. She promised to issue the group a trading permit, assuring that their activities would be lawful and possibly offering a way to end the ongoing disputes. Additionally, Minister Nankabirwa promised to look into Kamuntu Investments Ltd.’s licensing procedure to ensure justice and openness.

Residents who had congregated in Rwera Cell, Hamurwa Town Council, Rubanda District under the Kigezi Iron Ore Artisanal Miners Association in protest had a ray of optimism thanks to the promise of a trading license. They look forward to the disagreement being resolved as well as the chance to operate their company with official support and recognition from the government.

A multibillion dollar iron ore smelting factory would be built in Rugarambiro village, Muko sub-county, Rubanda District, according to plans released by Steam Investments Limited. The purpose of this substantial investment is to profit from the sizeable iron ore reserves found in the Kigezi sub-region. The construction of the smelting plant is anticipated to boost regional economic development and provide locals with job possibilities.

The various government officials have promised to arbitrate the conflict and work toward a just resolution as emotions rise.