Michael Lakony, the Amuru District Chairman says they revamped the operation on the illegal charcoal business after the perpetrators infiltrated Wii-Ceri Forest Reserve and other areas in Amuru like Lakang, Pogo, Apaa and Okidi.
The news of the arrest of the residents, prompted Nadduli to stop Luweero police station accompanied by the LC 5 Chairman, Ronald Ndawula and local leaders demanding the immediate release of the suspects.
During the launch at Katikekile sub county this afternoon, the speaker said that parliament has adopted Mt. Moroto tree planting as a project for three years. She said that ten hectares of different species including Mahogany indigenous, Markhamia, Neem, Cassia and Pine exotic will be planted in Katikekile sub county.
Residents from four sub counties in Kibaale district have today petitioned parliament over land eviction that has left 1,300 families displaced. The families were last year evicted from the land bordering Kagombe Forest Reserve by the National Forestry Authority NFA claiming they had encroached on the forest.
Stuart Maniraguha, the Budongo Range Manager, said the issue of illegal lumbering involves both residents and community members. He explains that CFM group leaders often over step their mandate by taking unlawful decisions.
The National Forestry Authority NFA has signed a collaborative management agreement with the Mpanga Community Conservation and Development Association to jointly conserve and protect Mpanga forest reserve in Hoima district.
Francis Atugonza was arrested by a joint force of National Forestry Authority, police and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces. He was arrested together with two others; Rogers Muhwezi and Mustafa Kasaija with whom they claimed ownership of Rwembuno block.
The National Forestry Authority ordered 216 people to vacate Mbaale Forest Reserve, to pave way for tree planting. The residents were given only two months to vacate the 1208 hectares forest reserve located in Butuntumula Sub County, Luweero district.
In 2015, Buganda Land Board ordered all settlers to pay Shillings 100,000 for registration as tenants. At least 78 settlers paid the money before NFA started claiming ownership of the land in 2016 and stopped further developments on it.
The accusations come two months after a court order issued by Julia Acio, the Assistant Registrar at Masindi High Court to maintain the status quo on the ownership of the 22 square kilometer land, pending the outcome of the main application filed by NFA challenging the land title.
The Chair of the Board of NFA, Gershom Onyango, says in 2005, there were an estimated 180,000 encroachers and when NFA started to evict them the government in 2006 issued an executive order stopping the evictions.
Albertine Regional Police Public Relations Officer Julius Hakiza says the arrested individuals are members of a veterans association claiming to have been given part of the forest reserve by President Yoweri Museveni. The veterans have been locked up in a boundary dispute with NFA for over five years.
National Forestry Authority in January 2016, ordered the affected people to vacate the piece of land measuring approximately 210 hectares in Abalokare, Dogikore and Amoilela villages in Amoilela parish, Bala Sub County. They were accused of alleged trespass on the reserve.
The Kisindi Sector Manager, Stewart Maniraguha, says Grevillea is good for agro-forestry, since the trees can be intercropped with other agricultural crops and are more environmental friendly.But the beneficiaries appeared divided on the tree species, given the longer 15 year maturity period.