Oil: Chairman, councillor arrested at oil rig launch

Kingfisher oil production rig at Buhuka Village in Kyangwali Sub-county, Kikuube District.

The Kikuube District Councillor for Kyangwali Sub-county, Mr Nestori Tumwesigye, has been detained at Kikuube District Police Station on yet to be known charges.

He was arrested some minutes after the arrest of Mr William Ugenirwoth aka Jembe ni nguvu, the Chairperson for Nsunzu B village in Buhuka parish, Kyangwali sub-county.

These were arrested before the end of the inaugural ceremony for Uganda’s first oil production rig at the Kingfisher oil field which is being developed by Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

Mr Jembe ni nguvu was whisked away by two non-uniformed men who had earlier on appeared to be part of the security detail that manned the venue at which President Museveni was chief guest.

He was arrested after he suddenly moved from his seat on the side of the guests advancing to the tent where the President sat listening to speeches from oil sector players and international diplomats.

China and Tanzania’s ambassadors to Uganda, Uganda’s State Minister for Public Service, the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development and the Vice President are among the high profile dignitaries who were present at the function.

Mr Ugenirwoth was sighted carrying something that looked like a polythene bag as he moved.

The Kyangwali sub-county Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Bisemeza, said security at his level was aware of Mr Tumwesigye and Ugenrwoth’s arrests and hand over to the district security forces. He had no details about the arrest by press time.

ASP Julius Allan Hakiza, the Albertine Regional Police Spokesperson, has confirmed the duo’s detention at Kikuube police station but could not immediately divulge much.

“Yes, Nestori was arrested and is detained in Kikuube district. For now, I am too engaged to divulge,” he said.

A source that claimed to have tried to negotiate for the duo’s freedom from the arrestors leant that Mr Tumwesigye was linked to Ugenirwoth’s strange movement at the venue where security was very tight under military control.

The source added that Mr Ugenirwoth claimed to have had a petition he wanted to deliver to the President relating to his compensation for his alleged efforts to open and maintain the Buhuka-Ikamiro Road before it was taken over by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and upgraded to tarmac by CNOOC Uganda Limited.

Mr Ugenirwoth was leader of the group of casual labourers identified as “Jembe ni nguvu’ at Buhuka before and during the start of visible oil developments.

‘Jembe ni nguvu’ is a Kiswahili terminology for ‘the hoe is power’.

He opposed the construction of Kingfisher oil field access road without compensating him; claiming to have put in a lot of efforts in mobilising communities to mention that road whose part was mapped and taken up for upgrade by the UNRA.

During Mr George Bagonza Tinkamanyire’s regime as Hoima district chairman before 2016, Hoima district police rushed to deactivate Mr Ugenirwoth’s protest against the Buhuka-Ikamiro road constructors.

Meanwhile, Mr Tumwesigye is known for his strong stands to his opinions. He was arrested twice within last year on allegations of attempted assault and assault.

Mr Tumwesigye allegedly attempted to assault the State Minister for Works and Transport, Mr Fred Byamukama at a heated public debate.

He was also arrested over alleged assault of the Kiziramfumbi sub-county councillor, Ms Zulia Nyakahara Mbalirwa.


  1. Mr Ugenrwoth has to be paid for sure. He’s the man who started digging that road before the Chinese had to come in, he’s the very person who mapped the road and till today the path-mark is still there


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