Police seeks legal guidance on UWA ivory theft

The police are still seeking guidance from their legal team on whether it should also pursue investigations into the theft of 1,300 kilograms of ivory from the Uganda Wildlife Authority stores.

The Inspectorate General of Government (IGG)had already started on the investigations and the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) officials say two parallel investigations would cause confusion and affect findings.

The Police spokesman, Commissioner Fred Enanga, says the officials from the ministry of tourism have been in touch with the CIID but informally.

President Yoweri Museveni ordered the IGG to investigate the loss of ivory worth billions of shillings from the UWA stores.

However, some of the whistle-blowers are asking the case be shifted to CIID claiming that the IGG has no teeth to successfully deal with the culprits.

Commissioner Enanga confirmed some officials have contacted police to take over the case from IGG.

“The CIID has received suggestions you talked about from a couple of people. We are looking into them and we shall be guided on what to do,” he said.

Last week, news broke in local media about how 1,335 kilogrammes of ivory mysteriously disappeared from UWA’s vaults. The wildlife body acknowledged the disappearance of ivory and the President promptly ordered an investigation into the matter.

The authority subsequently suspended five top officials, including the chief ranger, officers with access to the vaults and intelligence personnel at the agency.

On Tuesday, Members of Parliament called for the interdiction of Uganda Wildlife Authority executive director, Dr Andrew Seguya, to pave way for the investigations.

The junior minister for Tourism, Ms Agnes Akiror, said they will meet next week to take action and thereafter she will communicate to Parliament.