TOP
Wednesday,October 28,2020 09:06 AM
  • Home
  • Archive
  • Why did the Ugandan delegation to the Cites conference in Chile not vote?

Why did the Ugandan delegation to the Cites conference in Chile not vote?

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd November 2002 03:00 AM

SOMETHING nasty happened in Chile’s capital Santiago at the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) conference recently, 28 October to 15 November.

SOMETHING nasty happened in Chile’s capital Santiago at the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) conference recently, 28 October to 15 November.

ONE MAN’S WEEK By John Nagenda

SOMETHING nasty happened in Chile’s capital Santiago at the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) conference recently, 28 October to 15 November.

As a result, if you happen to be an elephant, the time ahead might prove hazardous! I first heard — as Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Uganda Wildlife Authority — what was happening from Kenya, inquiring whether we knew what the Uganda delegation was planning to do, come voting time on trading of elephant products.

Very briefly, there exists at the moment a Cites Appendix 1, which bans any trading in elephant products; and Appendix 2, which allows controlled trading. How to control it is a vexed question, with, at the moment, only four countries in the world, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia on the Appendix 2 list. In a motion strongly put by Kenya and supported by India it was suggested that these four join the rest of the world in Appendix 1.

But Botswana went first in raising its own motion calling for the four countries to remain on Appendix 2.

This was passed, meaning that the Kenyan motion could not be put.

There was another vote to determine which countries could dispose of stocks already held, and Zambia attempted to join the four countries in this. Zambia was rejected, as was Zimbabwe, because it was argued they did not have monitoring capacities, although Zimbabwe remained on Appendix 2, which Zambia failed to gain.

Uganda’s position is that we have insufficient data on what would happen if any countries were to descend to Appendix 2, and that it was wrong to lift the ban before MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) had reported, which it will in two years. When it came to our attention that the Ugandan delegation might vote for a lifting of the ban, Minister Rugumayo immediately shot off a fax to his ministry’s Assistant Commissioner Justus Tindigarukayo, in charge of Cites at the ministry.

“This is to direct you to vote in favour of retaining the ban on ivory trade. Please indicate by return the receipt of this directive.”

This was later followed by another fax to buttress the directive, giving reasons for the government position. Apart from the MIKE data, which in any case might be compromised by agreeing to trading now, “peace within the Great Lakes Region must first be established to enable effective monitoring of the ivory trade”.

Neither Tindigarukayo, nor Director, Tourism, Blandina Nshakira, nor Principal Wildlife Officer Bernard Twinomugisha, bothered to reply to their minister!

That they received the directive is proved by a ranting e-mail from Nshakira sent to UWA complaining about the way the directive had been sent in the first place. Upon their return it seems they assured the minister they had not voted to lift the ban; they had not voted at all.

Such gross insubordination! It is reported Tindigarukayo, who ironically has been a member of the UWA board up to now, was moving round telling people to vote for lifting the ban. On whose behalf? Serious consequences must follow.
* * *
“On 22 May [1940] the Government rushed through an Emergency Powers Act that gave them almost unlimited authority over the lives and property of all British citizens.

One of its regulations, stemming from an earlier Emergency Powers Act, was labelled 18B: this empowered the Home Secretary to detain anyone ‘whom he had reason to believe’ as of ‘hostile origins or associations’ or thought to have been involved with anything ‘prejudicial to public
safety or the defence of the realm’.

This regulation was now strengthened to include powers of detention over any members of an organisation that in the Home Secretary’s view was ‘subject to foreign influence or control’ or whose leaders ‘have or had any associations with persons concerned in the government of, or sympathetic with the government of, any power with which His Majesty is at war’.

The quote is from The Viceroy’s Daughters by Anne de Courcy, published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 2000. Can you imagine what that Home Secretary would have done with such as The Monitor, and its treatment of Kony?

I suspect at best he would have roasted them over the coals and thrown the bits away.
* * *
The week ended very badly for those who knew Sam Mutyaba. For me, even as I shouted out loud at news that a comparative dove had been chosen to lead Israel’s Labour Party, thus giving Israel a real chance of talking peace with the Palestinians, I was informed of the death in the US of Mutyaba.

What made it even worse was that just a few days earlier we had buried his son Paul, an angel of a boy as many not quite normal people can be.

Sam adored him. Being unable to be at the funeral, or indeed share the last moments must have been the limit. Mutyaba was my father’s half brother. He was a trader from childhood to the end.

I remember him giving me my first driving lesson in his father’s car, almost 50 years ago.

Years later, in his own DKW, or later in the Range Rover, he would happily lend me the cars, “but buy your own petrol”.

His last years were leaner, trading being more problematic; but he took it all in his stride. He was shy, boy and man, but gulps of sweetish alcohol would bring him out. Sundays were for church, principally at Namirembe cathedral.
The hole he leaves
is very deep.

www.onemansweek.com

Why did the Ugandan delegation to the Cites conference in Chile not vote?

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author