Bunyoro Kitara kingdom is so much concerned with the government of Uganda for refusing to disclose information regarding oil activities that was discovered in the Albertine grabben including three districts in the Kingdom that is Buliisa, Hoima and Masindi.
The concern was expressed by Norman Lukumu, the Bunyoro Kitara kingdom’s prime minister during a one day itinerary meeting for regional round table reflection meeting on community perspectives on oil and gas and other extractives in Bunyoro sub region that was held on 25th July 2016 at Kabalega resort hotel in Masindi town.
Lukumu said that government should not use non-disclosure of classified information close to deny people information regarding oil and gas because if people are not given information, they will generate their own false information and disseminate it something that is very dangerous.
“Culturally, in Bunyoro things are done transparently in broad day light but government is causing trouble when it comes to accessing information concerning oil and gas. We are going to do our best as a cultural institution to make sure our people benefit from oil because to us, accountability is a must and involvement of our people is paramount. We do not want to regret because our children will question as in future if things do not go well”, the premier stated.
Lukumu disclosed that, discovery of oil has caused mayhem in Bunyoro Kiatara kingdom because some people gave out their land in exchange of peanuts and now they are landless.
Cosmas Byaruhanga, the LCV chairperson for Masindi district noted that, discovery of oil in the area has caused very many issues ranging from employment, corruption, land grabbing, sharing of oil royalties, family breakages among others that need to be addressed.
“With existence of oil in the region, there is a need for Bunyoro because it has changed political, economic and social dynamics. The level of understanding and interpreting oil and gas issues is different among stakeholders and therefore people need to know how sharing of oil royalties will be done to reduce conflict and build trust among the public something that calls for regular meetings”, he stated.
The meeting was however shunned by Members of Parliament from Bunyoro region who were invited to attend and deliver concerns to parliament. Out of 19 MPs, only Bintu Jalia Lukumu, the woman MP for Masindi district attended.
Hajji Muhammad Kazimbiraine, the board chairperson for Bunyoro Choice Uganda, an NGO that organized the meeting with support from USIAD SAFE program said that, all MPs were invited but could not tell why never surfaced yet issued to be discussed needed their attention. He suggested that, a special meeting be organized specifically for MPs from Bunyoro so that they can capture issues of oil and gas in Bunyoro sub region.