By Ambrose Kweronda
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni criticized Rubanda West County Member of Parliament, Moses Kamuntu Mwongyera, for exporting raw iron ore to foreign countries.
Museveni expressed his disappointment during his speech as the guest of honor at the National Youth Day Celebrations held at Kigezi High School Lower Playground in Kabale Municipality.
Despite praise from various individuals at the event, including Tadeo Taremwa, the Kabale District Youth Chairperson, and Kiconco Brendah, the national youth female affairs representative, who suggested a government position for Kamuntu, Museveni openly expressed his reservations about Kamuntu due to the allegations against him.
MP Kamuntu has faced allegations from Artisanal Miners and landowners in Rubanda and Kabale Districts, ranging from fraud to encroachment on properties. President Museveni highlighted the country’s financial losses due to the low export price of iron ore by Kamuntu, compared to the potential value if the ore was processed.
Museveni discussed the progress of the iron ore factory with the Minister of State for Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, David Bahati. Modern Steel Company is obtaining the necessary licenses for mining.
Museveni also warned about exporting wolfram and directed Kamuntu to stop exporting Uganda’s iron ore immediately, under threat of serious consequences.
Kamuntu, serving his first parliamentary term as Rubanda West MP, is the only licensed dealer for iron ore mining in the Kigezi sub-region. He mainly exports the raw mineral to Kenya.
Hon. Kamuntu, the only holder of the iron ore Mining license in Kigezi region through his company Kamuntu investments, has been running court battles with a group of artisanal miners who accused him of fraud and exploitation, including among others; none payment of their iron ore supplies and attempting to grab their land.
The conflict has been raging on for years, but the climax was in 2021 when a section of aggrieved locals threatened to physically attack the legislator.