By Ishaa Otto Amiza
We have heard with great relief the decision by the European Union Parliament for passing a resolution calling for member states to stop diplomatic and financial support towards the construction of the Oil pipeline from Uganda to Tanzania.
The deal that was going on between the government of Uganda and multi-national companies like CNOOC AND TOTAL HERITAGE is being done clandestinely without transparency, proper legislation and regulations and mutual engagement of Parliament and the people of Uganda.
There are three core issues the citizens and activists of Uganda consider as important to be addressed before any multi-national company and foreighn government can embark on financing or carrying out the construction of the pipeline with the governments of Uganda and Tanzania.
- The hazards and physical destruction of Environment and Wildlife due to oil project.
- The legal frameworks and policies regulating the exploration of Oil and Gas in Uganda.
- The Governance issues relating to human rights, democratic practices and corruption.
As citizens who are actively involved in ensuring the rebirth of Uganda from militarism, corruption, and ignorance, we view the decision of European Union( EU) Parliament as a wonderful gesture to protect the mess that would cause diplomatic uproar and financial loss to multinational companies and states that are allegedly doing business with the government.
We further ask the management of Total , CNOOC and HERITAGE to comply with the environmental, human rights and governance issues being raised by Ugandans and concerned activists.
We finally demand that government of Uganda comply with the environmental and governance issues , including compensation of the land owners in areas where Oil fields are discovered and provide agreements/ protocols signed on Oil and Gas with foreign companies on Oil .
This should be given to Parliament and the beneficiary communities of Uganda. There must be transparency and accountability on all aspects of Oil and Gas exploration in Uganda without which we urge the International Community to coorperate and support the citizens and activists in ensuring compliance by the government.
For God and My Country
Ishaa Otto Amiza (Hon)/Political Activist.