Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Court has finally cleared the National Forestry Authority (NFA) to auction 492 bags of charcoal that were impounded during a crackdown on illegal charcoal dealers.
The charcoal bags were impounded from Amuru and Gulu districts during an operation against illegal charcoal dealers in Acholi Sub Region manned by NFA and the Environmental Police Protection Unit.
They were expected to be auctioned last week but the exercise was blocked because NFA had not secured authorization from the court under the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.
NFA later applied to the Grade Magistrates Court seeking an order to auction the 492 bags of charcoal that were impounded during the operations.
NFA argues that the charcoal dealers defied the National Forestry and Trees Planting Act of 2003 and National Forestry and Trees Planting Regulations of 2016.
However, in its ruling on the 9th April 2021, the Chief`s Magistrate Court through the Gulu Grade One Magistrate`s worship Vian Kwizera allowed the application and consequently allowed NFA to dispose of all the 492 bags of charcoal impounded during its operation and its proceeds be deposited in the consolidated fund.
Haruna Busubozi, the NFA Sector Manager for Gulu confirmed the matter to URN on Tuesday.
He said that the management will sit this week to streamline a few things before they auction.
Busubozi explained that the fund generated from the auctioning of the charcoal slated for this week.
Each bag is expected to be sold at 20,000-23,000 Shillings.
Similarly, the Environmental Police Protection Unit and NFA also impounded 800 bags of charcoal from Lamwo district in a similar operation. This brings the total number of impounded bags of charcoal to 1,292 in the last two weeks.
Xavier Sekanabu, the Environmental Police Protection Unit who is commanding the operation says that more than 100 people have been arrested in connection to illegal charcoal dealings in the Northern Region.