Uganda conservation news – IGG gives green light for the appointment of a new NFA boss

The spat between the Inspector General of Government and the Ministry overseeing the NFA has yesterday come to an end when the IGG had to concede that it was within the Ministers powers to reject candidates proposed to her by the Board, a development which last month prompted in a short lived and from the onset ill considered investigation by the IGGs office and resulted in paralyzing the appointment process for a new Executive Director of NFA.
Since the suspension and non renewal of contract for former ED Damian Akankwasa almost two years ago the NFA did only have acting heads and subsequently ran into more trouble when board members came under scrutiny too over a range of allegations. The vacuum on the top of the National Forest Authority also prompted wide ranging infiltrations into forests by squatters, reportedly caused by a lack of determined leadership, which led to added allegations that alongside the Uganda Wildlife Authority a systematic assault on Ugandas prime conservation bodies was underway with ulterior motives. The vacuum at NFA also permitted the powers that be to once again attempt to get over 7.000 hectares of the Mabira Forest cut down to establish sugar cane plantations halted however by stiff resistance from a large number of MPs belonging to the ruling National Resistance Movement party. The attempt to show the media degraded areas of Mabira also backfired when no such areas could be discovered and yet only degraded areas were being earmarked for conversion into sugar cane plantations according to government mouthpieces.
It is expected that Minister Maria Mutagamba will shortly put pen to paper and appoint a new Executive Director of her choice for the NFA, which should hopefully put Ugandas prime defender of forests back on track to carry out its mandate without fear or favour.