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Deputy IGP warns RDCs, DPCs and politicians against aiding illegal logging

Deputy IGP Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech has issued a warning against illegal logging in Acholi sub region. File Photo

Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Deputy Inspector General of Police Maj. Gen. Paul Lokech has warned Resident District Commissioners, District Police Commanders and politicians in Acholi sub region who are purported to be involved in illegal logging activities, that they risk facing arrest.

Maj. General Lokech issued the caution on Saturday while speaking at the requiem mass organized to pay tribute to the former Gulu RDC Major Santo Okot Lapolo who succumbed to the deadly coronavirus on 9th January from Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala.

Lokech was speaking at the deceased’s ancestral home in Lujorongole village, Lunganyura parish, Orom sub county in Kitgum district as part of individuals who worked closely with the late Major Santo Okot Lapolo during the over two decades insurgency of northern Uganda.

Without mentioning names, Lokech castigated the alleged involvement of some RDCs, DPCs and politicians who were using their positions to exploit and abate illegal logging of endangered tree species in the Acholi sub region without recognizing the diverse impacts of environmental degradation.

According to Lockech, it is quite saddening that individuals of such caliber especially the police and RDCs who are holding influential public offices and are supposed to enforce the laws are the perpetrators encouraging the vice in the region.

Lokech’s warning comes at a time when the environmental police have launched a crackdown on illegal timber in the Acholi sub region where more than thirty people have so far been arrested within the past one week alone.

The environmental police commander for Aswa River Region Joshua Sendaula says the crackdown was meant to fight against the indiscriminate depletion of the tree species and charcoal burning activities but efforts are proving uphill due to an organized racket involvement in such illegal tendencies.

Sendaula attests that the operation has discovered tendencies of connivance, clearance of  movement permits of consignments of forest products and forcibly releasing illegal loggers being exhibited by key district and government officials involved in the vice.

On Thursday for instance, the officer in charge of operations at the Kitgum Central Police Station Julius Mpande was apprehended over his alleged involvement in illegal timber logging activities in the areas of Omuwa, Paladiya, Aweno Olwiyo and Guriya East villages in Lokung East sub county, Lamwo district.

Mpande was arrested after local residents of Lokung sub county intercepted a Fuso truck registration number UAV 253M loaded of with a consignment of over 260 pieces of timber that he was escorting en route to Kampala.



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