Environmental activists have asked the Judiciary to expeditiously allocate a new judge hear the case in which they are contesting the giveaway of Bugoma Forest.
A group of activists from the Uganda Law Society, the Environmental Shield Limited and Resource Human Rights Africa Limited ran to court challenging the greenlight given by NEMA to Hoima Sugar Limited okaying the use of 21.54 square miles which is part of Bugoma Forest for sugarcane growing.
When the case came up, Justice Musa Ssekaana told lawyers that having earlier handled the matter, it was only fair that he recuses himself from the new related case filed by the Uganda Law Society and Civil Society Organisations.
He consequently returned the case file to the High Court for a new judge to be appointed to handle the matter.
Speaking after court, the activists welcomed the judge’s move of recusing himself from the matter , arguing that they need an impartial judicial officer to handle the case.
Carrying placards advocating for saving Bugoma Forest, the activists argued that NEMA failed Ugandans in approving a fake Environmental Social Impact Assessment presented by Hoima Sugar for the said project; without involving any experts of soil scientists and zoologists; and that the whole process was tainted with fraud and dishonesty which denied the public a chance to effectively put forth their views aimed at protecting the rights to a clean and healthy environment and protection of the country’s natural resources.