Landowners demand 3%share

KAMPALA-UGANDA  — Leaders from the Albertine region (Bunyoro region) in Uganda where oil exploration is taking place have asked the government to give them 3% of the total oil revenue in  contrast with the proposed Public Finance Bill which excludes landowners when it comes to sharing of oil revenue
In the petroleum Laws and the planned Public Finance Bill 2012 the Bill proposes that the share of the Oil revenue should be 97% to the central government and 3% to the Local Governments however this is Different from the   rate proposed for the sharing of minerals which provides that 80%of the revenue goes to the central government 17% to the Local Government and 3% to the land owners or occupiers of the land  
Meeting in Kampala to discuss research study On Do the current Petroleum Laws  and policies  consider adequately   cater for alternative livelihoods of land owners where Oil and gas are found      that was conducted by civil society agency Land and Equity Government of Uganda (LEMU) In the Albertain  region  the leaders  who comprised of Members of parliament and District leaders said  land owners should get certain percentage of Oil revenue  because what the Government compensate them is very small and many community members/ family don’t access to such funds
“The bill is not fare to the people of Bunyoro why is it that under the minerals section land owners are considered by being allocated 3%? it’s not clear why the policy and the Laws for minerals give different revenue for citizens whose land is taken for mining but no revenue for citizens whose land is taken for Oil and gas production” said the angry MPs who attended the meeting  
According to the research by not catering for revenue sharing for land owners / Occupiers   where Oil and gas is found, the Government appears to be implementing Discriminatory approach and puts the livelihoods of Land owners at risk in exchange for the national priority of Oil production
“This is unfair and inequitable the rest of the of the citizens of Uganda  who are beneficially   to the Oil and gas revenue do not lose their main source of livelihoods (land) additionally the central and Local  Governments  can  use  the revenue for the community social infrastructure development   by building schools  roads among others social infrastructure  but the revenues will not cater for the social demand of the people of Bunyoro  like food that is why the 3% should be given to the local communities in Bunyoro” reads part of the reportAccording to the Public Finance Bill 2012 under the sharing of revenues from royalties, the Bill proposes that Government shall retain 97% of the revenues from royalties arising from petroleum production and the remaining 3% shall be shared among the local governments located within the petroleum exploration areas of Uganda
Up on determining the share of revenue from royalties the revenue shall be transferred to a local Government in form of block grant through the budget however majority leaders in the region are against such arrangement which discriminate land owners when it comes to Oil revenues sharing  
When the East African Business Week Asked Hon Stephen Birahwa  Mukitare  the chairperson of parliamentary committee on National committee on Economy Affairs in the Parliament of Uganda and also member of parliament for Buliisa county, Buliisa District in the Bunyoro region  why Government wants to Exclude the Land owners  when it comes to revenue sharing   he said Government wants to pay to the absentee land loads   who occupied the land in Bunyoro fraudulently  because some community land s in the region where the OIL drilling is taking place was converted into private land this enabled them to get land titles which their presenting to Oil companies such that their compensated
“We know some non Banyoro from Kabale, Congolese from Democratic Republic of Congo  who are  owning land titles those are the fake land roads who sold our community land to the rich oil companies and now the local Banyoro are left landless we shall continue fighting for the rights of our people until we win the battle” he promised   the MPs promised that they’re going to come up with committee to investigate how nonnative Banyoro Acquired the land titles for the community land in Bunyoro region
Following the discovery of Oil and Gas in Uganda, Government stated coming up with policies to guide the Oil sector the Government developed the National Oil and gas policy for Uganda which came into effect in 2012 which led again to the development of two bills
The two Bills which were developed include the petroleum (Exploration  Development  and production) Act of 2012 and the petroleum ( Refining  Gas Processing and Conversation  Transportation  and Storage )Act of 2012 the third one which very soon will be in parliament is the Public Finance  Bill of 2012 which will guided  by the Oil and Gas revenue  management  policy  of 2012  which caters for how the  Oil and gas revenue  is to be shared  amongst stake holders  but in the Bill it’s only the central Government which is supposed share royalties from Oil and gas by taking 93% and the Local Governments  shall be shared  among the  Local Governments located within  the petroleum  exploration  and production  areas  of  Uganda  the land owners /Occupiers are left out  according to this Bill. According to him (Mukitale) the Bill should only give Government 70% of the total Oil revenue 17% to the local governments and 3% should be given to the local communities where the Oil is found but again on the 70% Government should set aside 10%total revenue to cater for catastrophes like Environmental related ones which may come as result of Oil Drilling in Bunyoro region
To get comment from the ministry of Lands Housing and Urban development public relation officer Mr. Denis Obo on why Government gave land Titles to absentee land lords  in Bunyoro region it was futile as his Known mobile number was off by press time
Land in Bunyo ro region is considered as big source of renewable source of income because it provide food, fishing ground, source of fire wood grazing land for their cattle to lose such resources withy out any form of replacement (either as resettlement or in periodic monetary replacement) puts the livelihoods of the people whose land is taken for oil and gas at danger   
Although Government and Oil companies have been compensating land Owner in the oil drilling region Mrs. Judith Adoko the Executive Director of LEMU told the EABW that the mode of compensation is not transparent  
“The finding from the research revealed that the compensation given is not according to the Laws as provided for by articles 237(2)(a)and 26of the constitution of Uganda  which provides  for the Government to compulsorily acquire  land for the public interest  but on condition that the acquisition  is made Lawfully with prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation prior to the taking of passion or Acquisition” she explained She explained that  the Government of Uganda has gone extra ordinary  by not also respecting  section 42and 77 of the land Act cap 227 which provide that  when both local and central  Government  are  acquires land  compulsorily   its should compensate the land owners basing on the four paying modes such as market rate purchase price of the unimproved  land , value of improvements  such as Buildings  and standing crops , Disturbance  allowance of 15/30% but some Oil companies are not following such guidelines when compensating the local communities.
As way of recommendation to overcome such big challenges the report recommended that to access to land according the legal provision the ministry of Lands and urban development   should promote the option for the land owners to negotiate sell or lease their land both to Government and Oil companies with compulsory acquisition by the Government being the last option
 The report also urges that if the land needed for the oil for a short duration is Government land that people were living on then resettlement should be arranged for the same period of displacement by the Government