UGANDA (eTN) – News broke overnight that the recently-installed board of trustees has suspended the executive director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Mr. Moses Mapesa, together with the director of conservation, Sam Mwandha, to allow a forensic audit to be conducted over a number of unspecified allegations made against the officers. An inside source overnight spoke of apparent issues over the handling of disciplinary matters, the new board chairman was not happy with.
At least two other senior managers had recently resigned from the authority not long after the new board came into office. The Uganda Wildlife Authority, a statutory body under the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, and Industry has been benefitting from major World Bank funding over the past 15 years to turn the financial page towards long-term self sustainability, and great progress has indeed been made in recent years.
Controversial issues were considered to be hunting, where a long time pilot project of late seems to have been expanded to other parts of the country, without having taken the route to discuss the implications of the pilot study first with stakeholders, something UWA has repeatedly denied but no records were ever availed of the alleged public consultations.
One website promoting hunting has recently mentioned that their trips to Uganda were “suspended for the time being” giving the first indication that not all may be well in this regard. Moses Mapesa, in particular, had in past years – he served with UWA in various capacities from its inception before becoming executive director some years ago – built a solid professional reputation and served on many international panels and bodies dealing with conservation.