12 remanded for encroaching on Kangombe Forest

By Andrew Musinguzi

The accused are residents in the four districts of Kibaale, Kyenjojo, Kagadi and Kamwenge

The Kagadi Grade One Magistrate's Court sitting in Kagadi Town Council has remanded twelve men to Mambugu Government Prison on charges of illegal clearing of land in Kangombe Central Forest Reserve for cultivation.

Court presided over by Judge Simon Toloko heard that on June 20, Fred Byesigye, 54, Isaac Batesa, 45, Edison Tumwine, 24, Idi Turahi, 39, Brian Mugisa, 23, Grant Tumuhekye, 24, Herbert Wambyoha, 28, Augustine Byaruhanga, 45, Amira Bonigaba, 22, Richard Tusiime, 17, Benon Kato, 28, and Obed Kabiraaba, 27, encroached on the forest reserve.

The accused are residents in the four districts of Kibaale, Kyenjojo, Kagadi and Kamwenge.

Prosecution told court that the suspects were arrested in the forest reserve harvesting crops while others were clearing it for fresh cultivation.

Appearing before court, the suspects pleaded not guilty. They were remanded to Mambugu until June 27, 2017 when their case will come up for mention.

Fredrick Atugonza, the Kagadi NFA supervisor, said since the year began over 100 suspects have been arrested and some prosecuted in the courts of Law. He added that more operations are going on to ensure all suspects face the wrath of the law.

"We have been advising people to vacate the central reserve but they have become adamant, therefore let us use the forest and tree planting act to prosecute them as a lesson to others", he said.