Mike Ssempereza, a resident at Seeta and one of the land beneficiaries noted that about two weeks back a team of about 100 unknown people cut down the trees. He says that the same group turned up today to partitioning the plots, yet their attempts to demand answers on where the team got the powers to take over the land remained futile.
Since 2018, NFA has embarked on restoration of demolished forest cover which was destroyed due to encroachment more than a decade ago. The region with the total forest cover of 367, 450 hectares lost over half of the forests due to massive tree cutting, bush fires, settlements and grazing.
The soldiers handed over Ntale and the three civilians identified as Elvis Bagyananseko, Dennis Kalulu and Joshua Kalulu to Mayuge police station. The two royal guards whose identities have been withheld were detained in the forest.
The NFA Communications and Public Relations Manager, Aisha Alibhai, said they usually burn low quality seeds to stop them from making it to the market through quack agents claiming to be NFA officials.
Residents claim that unidentified men backed armed police officers have made it a habit to descend on the forest and cut down trees. They claim that the loggers show up with letters from the National Forestry Authority-NFA authorizing them to cut trees in preparation for a fresh planting exercise.