High Court Cancels Deal to Restock Kabarole Crater Lakes

1622 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
The MoU was challenged by a Fort Portal based human rights organization, Twerwaheno Listeners Club and six residents in areas surrounding crater lakes. They argued that they were not consulted during negotiations between the district and the firm and that the deal would deny them an opportunity to use the lakes.

High Court in Fort Portal has cancelled a Memorandum of Understanding for restocking of fish in 20 crater lakes in Kabarole district. The memorandum was signed between Ferdsult Engineering Company and Kabarole district local government in 2015.

However it was challenged by a Fort Portal based human rights organization, Twerwaheno Listeners Club and six residents in areas surrounding crater lakes. They argued that they were not consulted in negotiations between the district and the firm and that the deal would deny them an opportunity to use the lakes, yet fishing was their sole economic activity.

Today, Fort Portal Resident Judge Anthony Ojok Ayuko ruled in their favour saying that all evidence adduced in court was not sufficient to prove that the consultations were exhaustive. He added that Kabarole district and Ferdsult Engineering Company flouted the National Environment Act, by failing to secure approval for the project from the National Environment Authority-NEMA.

The project is not bad, but the community was not exhaustively consulted." Justice Ojok said.He advised that any other memorandum should take into consideration the rights and interests of the community and not those of the leaders.

Scenes of jubilation dominated the fully packed court with some petitioners making moves to hug the judge. They were however restrained by the police officers and court staff.

Last month Tooro Elders under their umbrella; Isaazi ly'Abantu Bakuru Ba Tooro asked the Land Probe Commission to investigate where the leadership at the district derived power to lease out natural resources to an investor.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.