UWA officials under probe over extortion

MANAFWA.

Police in Elgon region have launched investigations into allegations that Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials extort money from residents seeking to farm in the Manafwa section of Mt Elgon National Park.

Mr Jacob Opolot, the regional police commander, said the Force will take action against implicated officials.

“We have reports that UWA officials have been extorting money from local communities around Mt Elgon for five years now. We are investigating the allegations and soon those implicated will be arrested,” said Mr Opolot.

His remarks came at last weekend’s meeting between UWA officials, district leaders and Manafwa residents.

Residents said UWA officials extort money from residents and cut down crops of those who refuse to comply.

Residents speak out
The Mukoto Sub-county chairperson, Mr Wilson Wepukhulu, said: “UWA officials used to move around collecting money from residents. I reported the matter to the office of RDC for intervention, although they have responded, it’s too late.”

However, Mr James Okware, the UWA senior warden in-charge of conservation at the national park, dismissed the allegations of extortion.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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