Cabinet Approves Bonus for Communities Near Mining Sites

Men at work at Karuruma smelting plant
Men at work at Karuruma smelting plant

Rwandans in proximity of mining sites are going to benefit from an annual bonus that will give them jobs and other benefits to deter them from their usual illegal mining.

The cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro has last evening approved a draft bill that seeks to “give a part of the minerals’ return to the communities near the mining sites to fast track their development.”

According to the Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement, mining earned the country $ 40.73 million in the first half of this year, compared to $ 64.24 million and $ 93.45million in the same period in 2015 and 2014 respectively.

The mining sites being located in most of the districts of the country, the move means that most of Rwandans will in the future get the direct dividends of minerals.

Cases of illegal mining have been reported in several areas of the country, with communities using traditional equipment to fetch minerals, which always caused fatal accidents, leave alone destruction of environment.

A similar bonus from country earning is already being given to neighbors of national parks who get 5% from annual revenues of the wildlife tourism since 2005.

The money goes into basic infrastructure like schools, health centers or any other project the communities need. That bonus helps in conservation of parks biodiversity since it deters communities from poaching and other malpractices.

Other cabinet decisions include approval of a lease agreement signed with AQUAHORT EXPORT LTD/AEL to manage the Fish Farming Center located at Kigali Special Economic Zone.

The 3 decade old company, Aquahort is a New Zealand based company with expertise in fish products handling.

Also in this context of property, the cabinet has given out 292,768 square meters to KITABI TEA COMPANY Ltd located in Nyamagabe district-south, to expand its tea plantation.

In the law and security context, the cabinet approved a bill that establishes the Rwanda Law Enforcement Academy (RLEA) and the Rwanda Investigative Bureau (RIB).

The cabinet made several appointments including in Rwanda Environment Management Authority.

Eng. Colette Ruhamya was appointed as Director General of the institution to replace Dr. Rose Mukankomeje who is battling a court case where she is alleged of sabotaging an ongoing investigation involving former leaders in Rutsiro District of the Western Province.

Claude Nikobisanzwe is new Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he replaces Ambassador Jeanine Kambanda. The latter has been moved to Parliament lower chamber, to serve as House clerk.

Still at Foreign Affairs Ministry, Col. Gerard BUTERA was appointed Chief of State Protocol, while Diane Gitera is Director General in charge of Multilateral Relations.

The cabinet was informed that the trial of drones the country intends to use in transport of medical supplies is scheduled on September 20th.

The drone port is under construction in Ruli sector, Muhanga district-south.

In February this year, the government hired Zipline Inc, a California-based robotics firm to build infrastructure for unmanned aerial system (UAS) to ensure efficient logistical transportation of medical supplies in the country.

 




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