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Compensation breeds another Hoima millionaire

Gilbert Manyireki leans on his new car. In the background is his commercial building in Nzorobi village. (Photo: F. Mugerwa)

Gilbert Manyireki leans on his new car. In the background is his commercial building in Nzorobi village. (Photo: F. Mugerwa)

When forty one-year old Gilbert Manyireki received one hundred and twenty five million shillings in his account, he was overwhelmed by varying emotions.

“When I got the money, I was anxious, excited and restless,” he said. “I had several ideas running through my mind on how I should use my money. I relaxed for about a week and drew a plan.”

Manyireki was compensated for his 28 acre-piece of land and other property in Buseruka, Hoima district, in the area that government has earmarked for the country’s first crude oil refinery.

“All my assets were valued including costs of my disturbance allowance and I was paid a total of 125 million shillings,” he told Oil in Uganda.

But unlike some of his village mates who squandered the money on alcohol and luxuries, the down-to-earth father of eight chose his investments wisely.

He bought a 14-acre piece of land in Kaseeta village, in the neighbouring Kabwooya sub county where he has planted maize and rice for commercial purposes.

He also bought other plots of land in neighbouring villages and constructed a commercial building on one of the plots in Nzorobi village, Buseruka sub-county.

But he also indulged a little bit, and bought himself a car.

“I had never bought any vehicle. I used part of the compensation to buy a car at sixteen million shillings. I also bought two motorcycles for my two children,” said Manyireki.

Manyireki poses next to his maize mill. (Photo: F.Mugerwa)

Manyireki at his maize mill. (Photo: F.Mugerwa)

Big plans

Manyireki has opened up a maize milling facility in Nzorobi village where residents from surrounding areas bring their maize to grind . “I earn over a million shillings per month from this maize mill,” he revealed as he inspected the machinery.

He plans to save profits from the maize mill and his other businesses to eventually set up an agro-processing factory.

Compensation of the 2,473 people in Kabaale parish whose land and property fall within the 29 square kilometers of land that the government has identified for the construction of the refinery and related infrastructure started in July last year and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

There have been reports of some of the compensated residents spending their money on luxuries and some men abandoning their families after receiving the money.

Report by our Hoima correspondent

 editor@oilinuganda.org