Four Ministers To Investigate Plunder Into Zoka Forest

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In short
Adjumani woman MP Jessica Ababiku confirmed on Saturday that after she tabled the matter in Parliament a team of ministers led by the Minister for presidency Mary Karuru Okurut will starts their investigations in to the plunder of Zoka forest on August 9th

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has named a team of four ministers to investigate the alleged plunder into the Zoka forest in Adjumani district by a group of top district security leaders.

The team is led by the Minister for Presidency Mary Karooro Okurut. Others are the minister of lands Betty Amongi, minister for water and environment Sam Cheptoris and Grace Kwiyucwiny the state minister in charge northern Uganda.

This comes after Adjumani woman MP Jessica Ababiku mid July this year tabled a motion before the floor of Parliament calling for investigations into the illegal lumbering in Zoka forest.

In her motion she named three top district leaders including Adjumani resident district commissioner (RDC) Agnes Akello, district police commander (DPC) Ojokuna Elayut and National Forestry Authority (NFA) supervisor Joseph Otim in the massive illegal activities in the forest.

In a phone interview on Saturday MP Ababiku confirmed that after she tabled the matter in Parliament a team of ministers led by the Minister for presidency Mary Karuru Okurut will starts their investigations on August 9th by visiting the forest to authenticate the claims of massive illegal lumbering there.

She says while there they will also the community around the forest and their leaders and to listen to their testimonies and evidences on the illegal activities in the area.

Ababiku Jesica urges the populace, especially the residents near Zoka forest to turn up in large numbers and volunteer information that are relevant to the investigations into the plunder of the Zoka forest so that the perpetrators' will face the law.

However when contacted, the Chief Administrative Officer Adjumani, Andrew Mawejje, says that he has only received communication from the office of the president informing him of the visit of four ministers over the pending investigations. He says according to the communication, the team will be holding a fact finding meeting relating to the depletion of Zoka forest in Itirikwa Sub County.

But when contacted over the visit of the ministers, Adjumani RDC Agnes Akello says she is not bothered since the allegations against her are political. She says she will avail herself for questioning if the ministers want to meet her.

Zoka forest is found in Itirikwa and Ukusijoni sub counties in southern part of Adjumani district in Northern Uganda.

 

About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.