Among condemns police for blocking LOP Ssenyonyi during Lubigi wetland visit

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Among condemns police for blocking LOP Ssenyonyi during Lubigi wetland visit
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Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has criticised the police's handling of Leader of Opposition Joel Ssenyonyi and his team during an oversight visit to the Lubigi wetlands in Nansana.

Among expressed her dismay at the incident, noting the discrepancy in how the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) enforces evictions.

She questioned why NEMA targets local residents while allowing malls built on wetlands to remain standing.

"I watched three days back, and I actually tried to call the Leader of Opposition. Unfortunately, he couldn't pick up. It was unfortunate. The LoP was performing his oversight role. The opposition is supposed to monitor government actions. The LoP was overseeing activities around Hoima Road in Nansana when his team was teargassed. I feel that was unfortunate," said Among.

"While we shouldn't interfere with NEMA's enforcement, there's an issue when construction starts and NEMA fails to act for years. We have malls built in wetlands. If someone goes to inspect these areas and is teargassed, where will people find refuge? I want to hear from the Government because this was uncalled for."

During Wednesday plenary, Among emphasised that parliamentarians are meant to understand and advocate for citizens, acknowledging Ssenyonyi's efforts and condemning the use of tear gas against legislators.

Recently, the Lubigi wetland site saw a dramatic escalation as police blocked Joel Ssenyonyi from inspecting the aftermath of recent NEMA evictions.

These evictions targeted residents allegedly occupying the wetlands illegally, prompting public outcry over perceived unfair treatment.

Addressing the displaced residents, Ssenyonyi condemned NEMA's actions as discriminatory, highlighting the contrast between the treatment of local families and the leniency shown to businesses in other protected wetlands.

The situation became volatile when Ssenyonyi attempted to tour the demolition site. Police intervened, leading to a standoff that escalated into a five-minute exchange before deploying tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Amidst the chaos, Ssenyonyi was escorted to safety by parliamentary security.

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