The Monitor (Kampala)

Uganda: NFA to Defy Presidential Directive On Forest Evictions

Kampala — THE National Forestry Authority has said it will defy President Yoweri Museveni's directive and continue evicting forest reserve encroachers.

"After swearing in, the National Forestry Authority (NFA) will exercise its commitment to the restoration of physical and legal integrity of the reserves," the NFA Public Relations Manager, Mr Gaster Kiyingi, said recently.

During his campaign trail, the President issued a series of directives including halting evictions of forest reserve encroachers, which were interpreted as a ploy to appease the electorate.

Kiyingi said the President's directives to halt gazetted forest reserves evictions were 'political statements', which should not protect encroachers.

"Statements made during presidential campaigns are political statements and not government policies," he said.

He urged the public not to perceive such directives as government policy.

In January, Environment Minister, Mr Kahinda Otafiire (pictured), told NFA to halt any "fresh eviction" of new encroachers in the reserves. According to NFA, since the directive was issued, new encroachers have flooded the reserves in Kibaale, Mayuge and Kome Island.

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