Ex-VP Bukenya out to choke life out of wetland encroachers

Climate Change
Ex-VP Bukenya out to choke life out of wetland encroachers
Ex-VP Bukenya tours encroached wetlands in Kakiri, Wakiso

By Joseph Ssegawa

Former Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya surely loves his new job and the senior presidential advisor on environment matters is living his vow to choke life out of wetland encroachers.

Bukenya on Tuesday took the war to Wakiso District officials, tasking the Inspector General of Government to investigate alleged irregular issuance of certificates to individuals who encroach into wetlands.

According to Bukenya, whoever operating in wetlands must be fully certified with NEMA permits.

"I direct the office of the Inspector General of Government to do thorough investigations on how NEMA officials in Wakiso connive with foreigners to degrade forests and swamps," he said.

While in Sserinya swamp in Kakiri Town Council, Bukenya expressed frustrations with people fill the swamp with soil and also moved the pillar showing the boundary of Nonve Forest.

"We cannot wait for further environmental degradation yet we have a full facilitated body to keep environment," he said.

Bukenya also directed for the immediate arrest of the key persons engaged in degrading the environment in the area, including some NEMA officials.

"I direct the DPC of Wakiso to arrest every person who has been violating the environment guidelines and I also direct NEMA to present all the permits they issued out to those found operating in wetlands," Bukenya said.

"Produce every document, failure to do so you will be arrested."

He also urged local leaders to care about their stamps and cautioned them to be vigilant when doing land transactions.

NEMA officials led by senior environment officer for Wakiso, Dickson Nahabwe, distanced the environment watchdog from the accusations of connivance with encroachers.

"Those operating in wetlands were not authorized by NEMA and we're going to investigate these matters," Nahabwe said.

He said NEMA was suspending all illegal activities in swamps and wetlands.

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