UWA Probe Lacking Funds

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Uganda National Parks

The Protected Areas Management of Sustainable Use (PAMSU) commission of inquiry is stuck after failing to secure funds from the ministry of tourism to facilitate its field budget. The PAMSU project was implemented by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

The acting chairman of the commission Col. Stephen Kwiringira said they need funds to visit the field and be able to verify what the project implementers put on the ground.

He said, “When you look at our terms of reference we are also meant to visit the field to verify whether they is value for money where the project funds were spent by UWA”. “But as up to now we have not got a response from the ministry whether it intends to fund the commission or not and have made us stuck” Col. Kwiringira added.

Kwiringira however said they were meanwhile making a draft report as they wait for funding from the ministry to visit the filed. He stated that they were analyzing evidence given by witnesses and that which they have found in documents.

The commissioners had planned to visit some of the 10 Uganda National Parks and 12 Wildlife reserves. He also stressed that whether the funds are finally released or not they will produce a report as part of their findings.

The commission’s substantive chairman retired judge of the Supreme Court justice George Kanyeihamba is presently in London. He is expected to return early September. Kwirigira also stated that they had also written to President Yoweri Museveni appealing to him over the extension of their time to finish business.

He said they also raised facilitation issues in their letter and complained of having been constrained and sabotaged by the senior ministry of tourism officials as they carry out the commission duties.

Kwiringira explained that the ministry had given them up to the end of this month to have finished and handed in their report of which time he said was inadequate for them. The commission is investigating the use of US 59 million dollars PAMSU project funds. The fund was a loan that government secured from the World Bank to revamp the infrastructure of national parks and develop staff’s competencies.

The PAMSU project was implemented between 2002 and 2008. The probe was appointed by the former minister of tourism Kahinda Otafiire to investigate the use of the PAMSU project funds in February this year and was expected to produce its report within three months.

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