Uganda: Police, NFA On the Spot Over Cutting of Endangered Tree Species

4 December 2019

Illegal logging of the endangered Afzelia Africana species is taking place in West Nile Sub-region under the watch of law enforcement agencies such as police and the National Forestry Authority (NFA), Daily Monitor has learnt.

In Mt Kei Central Forest Reserve in Yumbe District, police officers are accused of offering protection to the illegal loggers.

An illegal logger, who requested anonymity, told Daily Monitor that they get authorisation from NFA officials and police after paying money.

"We pay money to NFA officials who allow us to enter the forests to cut the logs but later when we are transporting the logs, the same officers connive with the police to impound our trucks and also extort money from us. We face double expenses, sometimes both police and the NFA officials demand for more than Shs2 million," he said on Monday.

The concern came after a truck ferrying Afzelia Africana logs from Mt Kei forest reserve was impounded last month by police under the directive of the resident district commissioner (RDC). The truck is currently parked at Koboko Central Police Station. Capt Yahaya Kakooza, the RDC, said the owners of the truck will be prosecuted in courts of law.

Police, NFA speak out

The District Police Commander, Mr Hashim Kasinga, denied allegations that police officers have been extorting money from illegal loggers.

"We are not here to extort money but to protect forests. Let those with evidence come to police and register a case," he said.

Mr Simon Peter Kidega, the NFA manager for Mount Kei Central Forest Reserve, also said he was not aware of cases of their staff extorting money from illegal loggers.

"If truly there are allegations that officers from NFA have been extorting money, why haven't they taken the legal procedure to register a case against such officers? These people just want to tarnish our image," he said.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Monitor

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.