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Tour operator handed 3 year jail term for fleecing tourists

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Godfrey Paul Mpamu, a tour operator from Wild Paw Safaris has earned himself a three-year jail term for conning tourists. The Entebbe Chief Magistrate Stella Akwong convicted Mpamu on his own plea of guilty.

Court heard that on August 30th this year, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) received complaints from Garcia Francisco, Gonzalaz Maria, Merino Victor, Yarrow William Harold and Merino David, all tourists accusing Mpamu of fleecing them Euros 3,000, about Shillings 12.5 Million and US $2,000  (Shillings 7.1 million), to secure for them Gorilla tracking permits so as to track gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Kisoro, Rubanda and Kanungu districts.

The tourists paid the money to the accused who vanished and abandoned them in a vehicle registration No. UBE 360R, in Entebbe. Mpamu had used social media to communicate with tourists. Police arrested him on October 10th, and arraigned the suspect before the court on October 15, 2021, on charges of obtaining money by false pretence.

He pleaded guilty and was remanded to Kitalya government prison until Wednesday when he was sentenced. A statement by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) noted that Mpamu was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered pay Shillings 19.8 million.

Speaking to URN this morning, UWA’s communication manager, Bashir Hangi welcomed the sentence because Mpamu’s conduct tarnishes Uganda’s image as a nation abroad, which affects the tourism industry.

He said there is no reason for anybody to fleece tourists yet Uganda’s tourism sector is still struggling to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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