In the week running through 20th/ July /2023, the community from Iboa , Andra and Ibakwe villages in Palorinya Sub County Obongi district, rightly, embarked on a citizen’s monitoring of the implementation of the Executive Order-3 bit.ly/3Wvx3xH by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on curbing logging, timber cutting and commercial Charcoal production in North and North East of the country issued in May 2023.
The team uncovered an illegal log and timber site, on site, the locals counted up to 40 pieces of timber and three logs extracted from hard wood trees known the Ma’di indigenous people as Malindi trees.
On inquiry, the committee vigilantes learnt that their Sub County chairman Luke Eruaga is the hand behind the logging and timber cutting, they swiftly reported the matter to the nearby Police station, officers were dispatched from from Palorinya Base Camp Police station where the timbers were later taken.
However to their shock the community vigilantes, after a few days reports that, the impounded timbers had disappeared from the Police station(Palorinya Base camp), their attempts to inquire the where about of the timbers, fiercely met threats and intimidations from the Police.
Earlier a Sub County council meeting called by the Palorinya council speaker to among others discuss the matter of the illegal logging and timber cutting was aborted on the orders of chairman Eruaga on an insufficient basis that the Speaker had no mandate to convene such a meeting, which is contrary to the provisions of local government Act of Uganda which gives mandate to a Sub County speakers as and when their offices may deem necessary.
Our Call:-the above case highlights the fate and the manner with which government authorities in WestNile abuse the Executive Order meant to end environmental distractions, we call for an audit of the conduct of government bodies charged with custodial mandate of public resources.