Buhweju Gold Mine Kills Four: Security starts crackdown on illegal miners 


Security authorities in Buhweju district have started a crackdown on illegal miners following the death of four people who perished when a gold mine caved in, killing them instantly in Bihanga Sub County, Buhweju District western Uganda on Friday, December 9, 2022 at around 5pm.

The victims include Mathias Saturday (28), James Nuwagaba (25), Baturaine Anatori (25) all hailing form Buhweju District and Venansio Mbaga (20) from Ibanda District.

According to the Buhweju Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Nicholas Nuwagira, the deceased were artisanal miners carrying out the activity illegally.

MINING IN THE DARK HOURS,AND ENFORCEMENT GAPS. The area deputy RDC Godfrey Tumwebaze has also said they are going to intensify operations to eliminate illegal miners who cause such incidents.

“These are local artisanal miners who mine gold under unclear circumstances. We have warned them to get out of the mines during the rains and they have not complied. Buhweju has been receiving large amounts of rainfall which make the soils loose with possibility for accidents. We are going to arrest whoever is in the mines without a mining license,” he said.

The mineral protection police which is instrumental in enforcing the law and stopping illegal mining activities is overstretched, and this greatly hinders the crackdown on illegal artisanal miners.

“This is because almost the whole district is a mining area and the police cannot cover the whole area. This means we should get more policemen to man the mines. These people died in the evening because they want to go when no one is seeing them,” he added.

He also disclosed that security officials have already talked to the district and regional police commanders to mobilize more personnel to regulate miners.  They are even going to move in at night to arrest whoever is mining in the dark hours because it is very dangerous and that’s why people are dying and we shall not sit and watch as people lose lives.

In Uganda, it’s estimated that more than 20 people die annually in mining disasters although they are not very rampant.


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