By Our Reporter
Masindi: Leaders from the sub counties in Masindi district, neighboring Murchison Falls National Park, are accusing Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials of harassing residents.
This was disclosed on Tuesday this week during the handover of Boomu Women’s Handcraft Production Centre to Boomu Women’s Group, located in Kigaragara village, Labongo Sub County, Masindi district.
This follows the incident where the UWA official recently shot dead a resident and injured another during the scuffle that ensued in Kituuka village.
The Labongo Sub County LC3 Chairperson, James Balikurungi, noted that the game rangers recently shot dead an innocent man in the scuffle with residents and injured another.
According to Balikurungi, the deceased was from football training, and he was shot dead, while the relative injured stressed that the family has never received any compensation from the UWA.
Geoffrey Bigabwa Kiiza, the district male councilor representing Kiruli Sub County, says the relationship between the UWA and the communities neighboring the park is deteriorating, noting that the UWA officials are manhandling residents.
He, however, said if the UWA officials continue manhandling the innocent residents, they will not lose the wildlife entirely, which is resourceful to the country, but will continue to pursue the officials as individuals and be held responsible.
Wahid Babyesiza Juma, the district male councilor representing Labongo Sub County, asserted that there are many people, including the village chairpersons, who are being beaten by the UWA officials without clear reasons, and most of them who are innocent are still behind bars.
Basil Ajer, the director of wildlife and antiquities at the Ministry of Tourism’s head of technical operations, condemned the act done by their officials and pledged to follow up on the matter.
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