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Forestry Authority chief hands over office

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th October 2009 03:00 AM

DAMIAN Akankwasa, the executive director of the National Forestry Authority (NFA), has stepped aside to allow investigations into the source of sh900m reportedly stolen from his residence.

DAMIAN Akankwasa, the executive director of the National Forestry Authority (NFA), has stepped aside to allow investigations into the source of sh900m reportedly stolen from his residence.

By Gerald tenywa

DAMIAN Akankwasa, the executive director of the National Forestry Authority (NFA), has stepped aside to allow investigations into the source of sh900m reportedly stolen from his residence.

According to Moses Watasa, the NFA public relations manager, Akankwasa handed over to Hudson Andrua on Thursday.

President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday directed Maria Mutagamba, the environment minister, to send Akankwasa on three months leave to pave way for investigations.

In an interview, environmental activists led by the Advocates Coalition for Development said the investigations should be expanded beyond Akankwasa. “There are so many illegalities in the forestry sector,“ said the chairperson, Onesmus Mugyenyi.

He blamed political governance, lack of capacity and a wave of resignations for the problems in the forestry body. NFA is one of three institutions that replaced the Forestry Department, which was disbanded in 2004.

The Authority lost its executive in 2005 and 2006 following a push by Museveni to give away protected areas for palm oil and sugarcane plantations.

Samwiri Rwabwogo, a former law enforcement coordinator at NFA, said investigations should extend to the board of trustees and Mutagamba.

“I have evidence that some board members are benefiting from the illegal activities and Mutagamba is failing to guide the sector,“ he said. He said he submitted his report supported with evidence to the Inspector General of Government and the President Museveni and that he is willing to testify at any public hearing on forests.
GERALD TENYWA

DAMIAN Akankwasa, the executive director of the National Forestry Authority (NFA), has stepped aside to allow investigations into the source of sh900m reportedly stolen from his residence.

According to Moses Watasa, the NFA public relations manager, Akankwasa handed over to Hudson Andrua on Thursday.

President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday directed Maria Mutagamba, the environment minister, to send Akankwasa on three months leave to pave way for investigations.

In an interview, environmental activists led by the Advocates Coalition for Development said the investigations should be expanded beyond Akankwasa.

“There are so many illegalities in the forestry sector,“ said the chairperson, Onesmus Mugyenyi.

He blamed political governance, lack of capacity and a wave of resignations for the problems in the forestry body. NFA is one of three institutions that replaced the Forestry Department, which was disbanded in 2004.

The Authority lost its executive in 2005 and 2006 following a push by Museveni to give away protected areas for palm oil and sugarcane plantations.
Samwiri Rwabwogo, a former law enforcement coordinator at NFA, said investigations should extend to the board of trustees and Mutagamba.

“I have evidence that some board members are benefiting from the illegal activities and Mutagamba is failing to guide the sector,“ he said.

He said he submitted his report supported with evidence to the Inspector General of Government and the President Museveni and that he is willing to testify at any public hearing on forests.

Forestry Authority chief hands over office

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