National
Tourism officials want UWA Act amended soon
Publish Date: Jan 12, 2014
Tourism officials want UWA Act amended soon
Uganda Revenue Authority recently impounded Ivory that was being smuggled into the country.
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By John Agaba

SENIOR officials from the ministry of tourism have expressed their desire for cabinet to pass the proposed Uganda Wildlife Authority Act soon to control the increasing trade in ivory.

The proposed Act, which is still in cabinet, stipulates stringent measures and penalties for anyone caught in poaching-related activities.

The media has been awash with cases of the Uganda Revenue Authority impounding lots of ivory, the latest being a consignment of 440 ivory impounded at Entebbe Airport on December 22.

Akankwasah Barirega, the ministry’s principal wildlife officer, said that the proposed amendments were now at cabinet level. Once cabinet had approved them, they would proceed from there.

Once cabinet passes the proposed act, it will to parliament. After parliament has passed it the president has to assent to it, to become a law.

Barirega said that there was a need to establish minimum penalties which are harsh enough to deter people from poaching and other related activities.

This was Friday during the welcome ‘party’ for Babra Nakitto at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel.

The 22-year old Uganda Miss Tourism won the Miss Friendship crown in the recently concluded Miss Tourism International pageant in Malaysia.

Barirega said that under the current UWA 1996 Act, the minimum penalty one could face for engaging in poaching-related activities was a sentence not exceeding more than seven years in prison.

He, however, said that even under this “weak law” very few were given the maximum penalty when caught, tried and convicted.

He said that in the last one year only about eight people were successful prosecuted, regarding poaching-related activities.

“But the biggest fine was about sh2m. Others were just warned and released,” he said. “Now if someone is trafficking ivory worth billions of shillings, what is sh2m to them?” he said.

The two officials from forwarding and clearing firms arrested in connection with the 440 pieces of ivory were released without charges.

He, however, said that most of the ivory that the URA has been impounding was not from Ugandan elephants. He said that Uganda was being used as a conduit for transporting these ivories to their destination, usually Asia.

He said that Uganda has about 5000 elephants, having grown from about 2000 elephants in the 1980’s.

Charles Tumwesigye, the conservation area manager at UWA earlier pointed out that Uganda has been losing an average of five elephants annually, but the numbers shot up to 18 in 2008, 25 in 2012 and reduced to 11 last year.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Bwaise youth given practical skills
Sports betting and gambling are fast becoming a serious challenge to youth employment in Kampala City since majority of losers in betting resort to crime including robbing and hitting people with iron bars....
‘Jamwa did not cause any financial loss to NSSF’
City lawyer Fred Mpanga has asked the Court of Appeal to acquit former NSSF managing director David Chandi Jamwa of abuse of office and causing financial loss....
Works ministry calls for UNRA independent procurement
The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has paved 305km of roads this year closing in on the national development target of 1,100 kilometers of roads to be paved by 2015....
NMS procures 6400 mattresses for hospitals
ACCORDING to the Ministry of Health facility Inventory July, 2013, they are 48 government general hospitals with a bed capacity of 6000, 170 heath centres IVs with a bed capacity of 6,800...
MPs query sh60m UCC land deal
MPs have raised a red flag over Uganda Communications Commissions (UCC) official in a sh60m land deal, for flouting the PPDA Act...
Big strides made in fighting TB, says WHO
The known tally of people with tuberculosis rose last year but overall "major progress" is being made in rolling back the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday....
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter