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Clergy decry Mabira forest give-away

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th April 2007 03:00 AM

KAMPALA Archbishop, the Rt. Rev. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and Namirembe’s Bishop Samuel Balagadde Ssekadde have reiterated their stand against the giveaway of Mabira Forest for sugarcane growing.

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KAMPALA Archbishop, the Rt. Rev. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and Namirembe’s Bishop Samuel Balagadde Ssekadde have reiterated their stand against the giveaway of Mabira Forest for sugarcane growing.

By Cyprian Musoke,
Norman Katende
and Paul Kiwuuwa


KAMPALA Archbishop, the Rt. Rev. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and Namirembe’s Bishop Samuel Balagadde Ssekadde have reiterated their stand against the giveaway of Mabira Forest for sugarcane growing.

In different Easter sermons at Rubaga and Namirembe cathedrals yesterday, they said comments from the public showed that people were against the give-away.

Stressing the need for the Government to listen to the people, Lwanga said he attended an international meeting where it was observed that the Sahara desert was fast spreading, and the country would need $5b annually to provide for its people in desert conditions.

Ssekadde asked the Prime Minister, Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, to state the Government’s position on the issue.

“Part of Mabira has already been cut down by encroachers. We are ready to plant trees to preserve our forest, ” Ssekadde asserted.

Responding to Lwanga’s fears, the Minister of Environment and Water, Maria Mutagamba, who represented the Government, said the Cabinet was still consulting in the wake of the public’s resistance.

She assured the congregation that they had not yet decided to give away Mabira, although the Mehta Group had requested for it.

“Asking is one thing and giving is another. I want to assure Ugandans that not an inch of Mabira has been given to Mehta and a conclusive Cabinet paper is yet to be discussed.”

Nsibambi said the earlier paper was not conclusive because it did not include public opinion and an environmental impact assessment from the National Environment Management Authority.

“The other paper was stolen before the Cabinet discussed it. Mutagamba will present a new one that will include all the concerns of other stakeholders.”

He also asserted that the new Mailo land law will not take off.
“I will be the first to fight it. We have enough battles, why should we enter others?”

Lwanga said that the Constitution obliges the Government to hold in trust for Nsibambi, Ssekadde and Nsibambi’s wife Esther after the prayers the people, and protect natural lakes, rivers, forests, game reserves, national parks and land for all citizens.

“The Constitution is Uganda’s supreme law and it binds all other authorities in the country.” He recalled that President Yoweri Museveni in 1989 promised not to sacrifice the environment for economic development.

Clergy decry Mabira forest give-away

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