today's Pick
UWA wants 20 years for poachers
Publish Date: Feb 23, 2014
UWA wants 20 years for poachers
The UWA boss says if someone is arrested for killing an elephant, they should compensate for its loss
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Henry Sekanjako

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has asked the Government to amend the Wildlife act and introduce stiff penalties of fines not less than sh200m and a 20 years’ imprisonment sentence for poachers and traffickers of wildlife and its products.

“The fines should be equivalent to the value of the products they traffic, and these fines should not be less than sh200m,” said Andrew Seguya, UWA executive director.

“Offenders should pay highly for trafficking wildlife. If we do not make their environment harsh, all wildlife traffickers from neighbouring countries where there are stringent penalties will end up in Uganda,” he said.

Currently, the law prescribes a punishment of 12 months imprisonment or a fine of sh8m for poachers and traffickers.

Uganda loses sh1b in illegal wildlife trade annually, according to UWA. Ivory from killed elephants dominates the illegal wildlife trade in Uganda followed by other products that are sought after internationally, the executive director said.

Seguya said Uganda was registering high cases of wildlife trafficking due to light punishments given to the culprits.

“We want sentences given to wildlife traffickers to be toughened, if someone is caught for killing an elephant, they should compensate for the loss of that animal,” proposed Seguya.

He was speaking to the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on Wednesday, during the MP’s tour of the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kasese, one of Uganda’s largest.

Seguya said the light punishments and Uganda’s seeming relaxed attitude are hurting the wildlife and frustrating UWA’s efforts to fight poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

“In East Africa, it is only Uganda that has no stringent penalties against wildlife traffickers, and this is making most of the offenders from other countries like Kenya where penalties are tough to come to Uganda and engage in the vice,” he added.

Last year Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Wildlife and Conservation Management Plan which provides for substantially higher fines, confiscation of property and longer prison terms.

 

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
Burkina gov
Burkina Faso's interim leaders were expected to unveil a new government lineup on Sunday, with the country anxious to see the extent of military influence under civilian President Michel Kafando....
Boko Haram gunmen kill 48 fish vendors
Boko Haram gunmen killed 48 fish vendors in Nigeria''s restive Borno State, near the border with Chad....
3000 evacuated after WWII bomb found in France
The 250-kilogramme (550-pound) bomb was found near the city's town hall during the building of a new metro line....
The Indonesian Football Association banned 12 players and officials who competed to score own-goals in a farcical match last month....
The city that has banned noisy suitcases
Famed for the serene silence of its timeless nooks and crannies, Venice is about to get even quieter ... by banning noisy suitcases on wheels....
President Yoweri Museveni has warned that if corruption in Uganda goes unchecked and unpunished, it would pose a serious threat to the country....
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter