Saturday August 2 2014

Tighten laws on wildlife conservation

It seems the government might have intentionally or unintentionally relaxed the laws on wild life conservation. I n the past the hierarchical structures of chiefs from district commissioners to Mayumba Kkumi were very vigilant in enforcing the laws on wild animals through their baton-wielding local security personnel (Ba musirike). But now, one hardly hears of any related case being mentioned in a court of law. The reason might be a shift of emphasis in government policies where emphasis is put on security threats to the ‘nation’s security’ other than wild life and environment.
Most people know the ministers of Internal Affairs, minister of Kampala, Attorney General but I bet there are very few people on the street who know the minister in charge of Wildlife. There might also be a problem of keeping and tendering in court seized exhibits such as Rhino or Elephant tusks due to their monetary value.
In the UK, you will find many swans swimming in canals and lakes but all swans are owned by the Queen. If someone is found guilty of slaughtering a swan for food or any other reason he/she is liable to pay a £215 (Shs900,000) fine.
I think it would be a good idea if we give the ‘swans’ to President Museveni to protect. By swans, I mean all the endangered species. Security agencies will be very vigilant knowing that they are protecting the President’s property. On the other hand the English people see swans as beautiful creatures and killing anyone of them, is something highly frowned upon.
Lastly, I wish to disagree with a letter in the Daily Monitor of July 31 titled, ‘We have too many national parks’. The writer says we should give some of our game parks to pastoralist and farmers because they are too many. I don’t think we have a problem of land, the problem is planning for the little we have.
Parks conserve our environment in two ways, the beauty of our green forests and the wild animals and birds. Let us take it for a rule, we are only trustees in this world, entrusted to care for other creatures. Let us therefore take care of our environment.
Abubakari Ssemmandwa