The army spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire, has spoken out on reports that ivory worth millions of shillings was found on the farm of the army’s reserve force commander, Maj Gen Charles Otema-Awany in Pakwach.
Some sections of the media had indicated that one Edwin Opunya, a farm manager at the Gen.Awany’s farm was found in possession of the ivory worth Shs 60 million.
However, Brig.Karemire, confirmed the culprit was a manager at the reserve commander’s farm but noted that he had been arrested and appeared in court two weeks ago for the offence.
“Court has since released him whereas Gen.Otema has also since sacked him as punishment for the crime committed,”Brig.Karemire said.
He added: “The UPDF and Gen.Otema cannot answer for the crime committed by an individual civilian worker.”
Winnie Namayenje, the Natural Resource Conservation Network’s Legal Advisor, said Opunya will be charged for unlawful possession of a protected species contrary to the Uganda Wildlife Act at the Wild Life Court in Kampala.
This comes on the back heel of a Police Flying Squad swoop in the West Nile region in which 100 Kgs of ivory were seized and three people were also arrested.
The other suspects are: Abel Ewai , a boda boda rider, Ndaaba Icaku, a Congolese national and James Okuni.