Raising a matter of national importance Hon Mamawi said that on hearing the machines making noise in Zoka forest a team of vigilantes from Olwi in Itirikwa Subcounty, National Forestry Authority (NFA) personnel, and police went to Zoka Forest and arrested six culprits.
These suspects were taken to Ajeri Police Station but the following day, they were fled by the police which irked the community and put police and NFA on the spot to explain their whereabouts Hon Mamawi noted.
To make matters worse, although the community finally got these suspects and handed them back to the police, to their dismay, they were released the following day wondering how far the problem of zoka forest depletion will ever end.
Hon Mamawi called on the minister of internal affairs to take action against police officers who released the suspects. He wants them arrested and to help Government in investigations.
He also wants is that the team from the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs to move on the ground to solve this matter.
The legislator wondered why despite a good number of police officers in the area, less has been done to who can help to curb these illegalities.
“We have not seen what they are doing. Illegality is ongoing. We need a meeting with them and the community to agree on how we can protect this forest” Hon Mamawi noted.
He challenged the government that if they have lost interest in the forest, they should let locals harvest these resources themselves instead of people coming from very far and disturbing their peace.
The prime minister and leader of government business Rt Hon Robinah Nabbanja reiterated the government’s commitment to protecting the environment.
“I have noted the concern of the honorable member,” and I will take it up with him and with the right authorities – the police leadership – so that we follow up on the matter” promised the minister of state for internal affairs Gen David Muhoozi said in response.
However, the deputy speaker of parliament Thomas Tayebwa tasked the prime minister to make sure that the Minister of Water and Environment visits Zoka Forest to assess the magnitude of damage.