At least 17
rangers and nine suspected poachers were killed during different operations by
the Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA.
This is contained in the Authority’s report submitted to the Parliamentary
Committee on Human Rights. The report is a response to the status of observance
of human rights within the UWA estates.
the Committee chaired by Fox Odoi, the West Budama North Constituency MP
commenced a nationwide inquiry on allegations of human rights violations
following a directive of the then Deputy Speaker Anita Among Annet.
UWA was summoned before the committee as one of the agencies being accused of
human rights abuses such as torture, arbitrary arrests, detention, and
extrajudicial killings against communities neighboring National Game Parks and
10 National Parks; 12 Wildlife reserves; 5 Community Wildlife Management Areas;
and 13 Wildlife Sanctuaries.
Mwandha, the UWA Executive revealed that in the period under review, there are
21 human rights-related cases reported by the communities to the Human Rights
Tribunal against UWA. 18 of the cases were reported from Mount Elgon
Conservation Area, while 3 from Murchison Falls Conservation Area.
disclosed to the Committee that most of the hostilities between rangers and
civilians result from unresolved land cases in court, resistance to arrests, and
attempts to disarm rangers.
“We have a list…//
Cue out:… to the families.
reported that in all situations where it was made aware of any injury or caused
during a scuffle between staff and community members, they have provided
medical support as a way of cultivating good relationships, and dialogue to mitigate
//Cue in: “We want to be…//
Cue out:…no reason for such.”//
notes that there are cases where the injured community members have disappeared
for fear of being arrested that the Authority has not been able to provide
support. He denied allegations of UWA operating illegal detention centres.
(2) of the Uganda Wildlife Act, 2019 provides for the development of terms and
conditions of service of the UWA staff including the use of firearms in the
execution of their duties. The same section provides for the powers of staff to
search and arrest suspects of wildlife crime and related offences.
The lawmakers have also expressed concern about rampant attacks on rangers.
Musinguzi Yona, the Ntungamo Municipality faulted UWA for deploying lone rangers to guard vast areas which exposes them to deadly community
also accused UWA of failing to settle disputes over park line boundaries, a
loophole that has been exploited by communities bordering parks to encroach on
the parkland resulting in deadly land conflicts, yet the Authority is well
funded to execute its mandate.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.