Uganda Wildlife Authority woes far from over as donors wade into controversy


UGANDA (eTN) – Key development partners and donors of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) have now formally written to the government of Uganda, demanding that UWA return to proper management and oversight immediately, following the shenanigans of the former board chairman and the tourism minister, which well near wrecked the authority in recent months.

It is understood that the World Bank, USAID, and others have jointly written to the Prime Minister, being concerned and alarmed that the huge funds poured into UWA since its inception in the mid 90s are put at risk. The matter, in spite of the former chairman’s regular utterances of preferably Latin phrases, has been approaching the boiling point when the court sacked a number of board members, including the former chairman, for being eminently unqualified to hold such a position due to lack of qualifications in relevant fields. The court also denied an application for an injunction until the appeal against the ruling has been disposed of, leaving a vacuum at the top of the authority and impacting on UWA’s ability to perform their tasks and duties.

Meanwhile, it was learned that a panel of elders, including former tourism minister Prof. Edward Rugumayo, an astute mind and gentleman if ever there was one in politics here in Uganda, and former UWA chairperson John Nagenda, are to step in for a couple of months, assisted by other eminent personalities in conservation to bring UWA back to the straight and narrow and permit work to resume, which should never have been interrupted in the first place. This is a damning indictment for, in particular, the minister for tourism, aka the self appointed minister of crocodiles – quoting his own words a few weeks ago – who committed an absolute blunder when he appointed his personal friend and personal physician to chair the UWA board.