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NFA official arrested for assaulting an Indian investor in Kikuube district.


Ayebare while grabbing charcoal from the farm

Police in Kikuube district yesterday arrested one Ayebare Joseph, a senior official working with National Forestry Authority (NFA) attached to Bugoma forest for assaulting an Indian investor RAEHA RAMASAMY KRSHANA. The Indian investor is attached to Hoima Sugar and a farm manager of Nsozi farm where Hoima Sugar has planted over 7 square miles of sugarcane.

Ayebare who was arrested after 3 days, together with some Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers attached to NFA forcefully raided Nsozi farm which is under Hoima Sugar and took away 2 trucks loaded with charcoal.

Reliable sources confirm that charcoal was out of the logs which Hoima sugar get after clearing their areas for sugar cane growing not from the forest reserve. Reports say that Ayebare together with UPDF soldiers roughed up the Indian Investor who was accusing them of criminal trespass, saying that the farm is a property of Hoima Sugar and NFA had no right to enter without permission from Hoima sugar.

During the scuffle, the Indian investor got roughed up by a panga yielding Ayebare and group who threatened to harm him badly and took away his phone. The Indian Investor reported the matter to Kikuube police where the case of assault and threatening violence was recorded. Police sources say that 6 witnesses recorded statements all pinning NFA of wrong doing.

Indian who was attacked

A senior police source in Kikuube confirmed the arrest of Ayebare and by the time of filing this story, he was due to appear in Hoima court. “ Its true we arrested him yesterday and the State Attorney already sanctioned his file for court today” a senior police officer said.

When contacted for comment, the RDC Kikuube Mr. Amlan Tumusiime also confirmed the incident and said that he is soon convening a meeting between NFA and Hoima Sugar to ensure that such incidents stop occurring in the area. He further revealed that late last year, Cabinet resolved to open the boundaries of Bugoma forest and neighbourhood to resolve such problems. The Ministry of Lands opened the boundaries but the report is not yet out.

Meanwhile in 2016, the King of Bunyoro Solomon Gafabusa Iguuru leased 22sq miles piece of land to Hoima Sugar for sugar cane growing for a period of 99 years. After the lease, NFA protested claiming that the land in question was the property of NFA under Bugoma Central Forest reserve.

The Kingdom also protested saying that the land in question is known as Kyangwari ancestral land and is among the properties the Central Government returned to Bunyoro Kingdom after the restoration of tradition leaders. Kyangwari is no.5 on the list of the properties returned to the kingdom.

Both NFA, Bunyoro Kingdom and Hoima sugar went to High Court Masindi and the High Court ruled in favour of Bunyoro Kingdom confirming that the land in question belongs to Bunyoro kingdom.

NFA then appealed and again in their ruling, Court of Appeal still ruled in favour of Bunyoro Kingdom. NEMA Later gave a certificate of approval to Hoima Sugar to plant sugar cane on 9.24sq miles. As a result, Hoima Sugar got contractors to do bush clearing where the logs are got and burnt for charcoal which NFA keep claiming.

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