Using National Aeronautics and Space Agency–NASA from the USA, UWA indicated that their findings established the cause of the fire was honey harvesting activity, where fire used to generate smoke to repel the bees from the honeycombs was not extinguished.
Committee on Tourism, Trade, and Industries has rejected the Uganda Wildlife
Authority – UWA report on the fire that razed down Park View Safari Hotel.
investigation report on the fire by UWA indicates that the fire that burnt the
large chunks of the Park and the Lodge originated from a neighboring land
belonging to Dr. Benson Tumwesigye, an employee of the Ministry
National Aeronautics and Space Agency–NASA from the USA, UWA indicated that
their findings established the cause of the fire was honey harvesting activity,
where fire used to generate smoke to repel the bees from the honeycombs was
UWA Executive Director, Sam Mwandha says the report generated by UWA Crime
Investigation Unit confirmed 15 cottages, a restaurant, a bar, and reception, and a guard house were razed by fire.
Mwandha disclosed that UWA contracted Prof Karanja Thiong’o Kinyatta University
Department of Chemistry as Chief Consultant to investigate the fire. However,
Prof Karanja’s confidential report reveals that the fire resulted
from “unknown human activity” contrary to UWA's report that the fire
started from a beehive.
“We however observed a grass-thatched sunshade near a fig tree that suggested
human activity in the area. In the circumstances and in our opinion, therefore,
the fire loss at the community land resulted from unknown human activity and
spread to the beehive”, part of the report read.
MPaka, the Mbarara City South Division MP queried how and why UWA rushed to the
decision to procure the services of a private fire consultant before the Police
could conclude its investigations into the fire incident.
“If we are to…
Cue out…is not clear.”//
Woman Representative Susan Amero, tasked Mwandha to explain why UWA never
reported the fire incident to the Rubirizi District territorial police as
required by the law.
//Cue in: “I
want to know…
Cue out…we need you.”//
the Buhweju County expressed displeasure that Mwandha’s statements are
characterized by inconsistencies and that the report he produced needs further probing
to establish the truth.
response, the visibly emotional Mwandha told MPs that UWA wrote to the Police
Department of Forensics to investigate the fire.
//Cue in: “We have two…
Cue out…police to investigate.”//
Gen Katsigazi Tumusiime, the Deputy Inspector General of Police refuted Mwandha’s
claims saying they have not received such a letter and tasked Mwandha to
produce proof of the letter he wrote to the police.
“Procedure requires that…
Cue out…if he wrote.”//
lawmakers also threatened to put Mwandha on oath to compel him to tell the
truth. They also asked him why UWA did not report Dr. Tumuwesigye to police if
indeed the fire originated from his property.
Safari Hotel, a private tourism facility is owned by Dickson Kateshumbwa,
Sheema Municipality MP. It is located in Kyansama village, Kyambua Parish in
Kateshumbwa has threatened to sue UWA to seek compensation for the destroyed
investment which he estimates to cost at least 10 billion shillings. He blamed
UWA for controlled bush burning that subsequently spread and burnt down his
Catherine Lamwaka, the Omoro District Woman MP who chaired the committee said
they have concluded their inquiry into the cause of the wildfires at Queen
Elizabeth National Park following Deputy Speaker Anita Among's directive and
will proceed to write a report which they table on the floor of Parliament soon
for further debate.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.