Parliament approves merger of wildlife entities UWA and UWEC

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Parliament approves merger of wildlife entities UWA and UWEC
Peacock at the zoo in Entebbe

The merger is projected to save the government Shs15.166 billion in the fiscal year 2024/25

Parliament has approved the merger of the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre (UWEC) with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

The decision comes as part of a broader legislative effort, which also involved amendments to the Uganda Wildlife Authority Act, 2019, to accommodate the merger.

The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Tom Butime, staunchly defended the merger, emphasising the complementary roles of UWEC and UWA.

He said: "The role of UWEC and UWA are complementary. One substituting the other is a mere consolidation but the roles remain the same."

However, the merger is not without its repercussions. According to the findings of Parliament’s Tourism Committee, 64 staff members are set to lose their jobs as a result of the consolidation.

To mitigate the impact, the government has pledged to pay terminal benefits totaling Shs1.334 billion to the affected employees.

Despite the job losses, proponents of the merger argue that it will yield significant financial savings for the government.

The merger is projected to save the government Shs15.166 billion in the fiscal year 2024/25, with anticipated savings increasing to Shs16.5 billion in 2025/26.

The decision has sparked mixed reactions from stakeholders, with some expressing concerns over the welfare of affected employees, while others welcome the prospect of increased efficiency and cost savings in wildlife management.

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