It seems that the Ugandan Parliament has seen through the motives of the new Uganda Wildlife Authority board and condemned them for trying to get at the funds held by UWA in its various accounts.
Hopefully this will put a welcome brake on the precipitous actions of the new Uganda Wildlife Authority board of directors. An article in today’s issue of The Monitor, titled MP’s Dismiss Otafiire’s Report on Wildlife Agency, opens with the line “MPs have said the sacking of the Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Mr Moses Mapesa, is part of a wider scheme by some members of the agency’s board and some top officials in the Tourism Ministry to swindle money.”
For people within the Wildlife Authority, it has been clear for a while that the ultimate target of the new board is the Wildlife Authority’s accounts, particularly money that has been set aside to create a trust fund to support the operations in the parks.
This attack on the part of the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry, General Kahinda Otifiire, and his appointee Dr. Muballe, comes at a time when the parks in Uganda are particularly vulnerable. Oil exploration is expanding in many of the national parks here, and a breakdown in the management of the Uganda Wildlife Authority would eliminate any last resistance to uncontrolled drilling in the parks.
Hopefully this ruling by the Members of Parliament will lead to the reappointment of Moses Mapesa and a strengthening of the power of the Uganda Wildlife Authority to resist attacks on the National Parks regardless of the source of those attacks.