Update On That Suspension of Sport Hunting in Uganda


Published: December - 2010

That suspension of sport hunting in Uganda we told you about may soon be lifted. You'll recall my report this past September about a letter from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Executive Director Moses Mapesa to all hunting operators announcing a temporary suspension of sporthunting. The letter caused a scramble among operators demanding an explanation from the UWA and threatening legal action under signed contracts allowing them to operate in their concessions. The principle reason for the suspension was supposedly the need for a new game census in order to establish hunting quotas for 2011. I told you, however, that the cause of the problem was not the stated issues in the letter but rather a power struggle within the UWA and its new board of trustees. The suspension was subsequently narrowed down to a handful of concessions and a clarification from the UWA was supposed to be issued. It never was.

Now, all of that may be declared null and void in time for the 2011 season. That's because the High Court of Kampala has ruled that the UWA Board of Trustees be immediately dissolved on the basis that it was illegally appointed. Justice Yorokamu Bamwine said Trade Minister Kahinda Otafiire had appointed members to the board unqualified to manage the Uganda Wildlife Authority, including its chairman, Dr. Boysier Oumar Muballe.

The ruling followed a petition by Moses Mapesa and two colleagues who were fired by Muballe. They accused the board of interfering with the UWA and persecuting staff who opposed the board chairman. They testified that Muballe and other members of the board were unqualified to sit on the UWA board and were mismanaging the wildlife body. Justice Bamwine ordered Minister Otafiire to appoint a new UWA board of trustees in accordance with the qualifications set out in the relevant legislation.

It's difficult to say at this writing where all of this leaves hunters with trips booked to Uganda. It seems that the illegal appointment and subsequent dissolution of the board of trustees would nullify its actions. No one was quite........(continued)

 
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