Breaking

Trader Drags Gov't to Court Over Seized Logs

In his affidavit, Kyiwa argues that there is no justifiable reason for holding the logs, adding that his repeated appeals to the relevant authorities to release the impounded logs have been futile prompting him to turn to court.
A pile of impounded Afzelia Africana logs at Kitgum Police Station
Allan Kyiwa, a resident of Nakawa and dealer in logs has dragged the Attorney General, Kitgum District Police Commander and Forestry Officer to court for impounding his logs of AfzeliaAfricana trees. Kyiwa accuses police of impounding his logs in his September 26th 2018 suit before Kitgum Chief Magistrate's court.

Police reportedly impounded the 29 logs while being transported from Lamwo district to Kampala on truck registration number UAE 049H and took them to Kitgum Central Police Station. He wants the magistrate's court to order the officers to release his logs unconditionally.

In his affidavit, Kyiwa argues that there is no justifiable reason for holding the logs, adding that his repeated appeals to the relevant authorities to release the impounded logs have been futile prompting him to turn to court. Hussein Ntalo, the Kitgum Chief Magistrate adjourned the case to October 3, 2018 following a request by the Attorney General and the District Police Commander for more time to respond to the application.

The Afzelia Africana tree locally known as Beyo and shea-nut trees have become highly vulnerable due to uncontrolled and illegal lumbering in Lamwo, Kitgum, Amuru and Gulu districts. In December 2017, the Ministry of Water and Environment temporarily suspended the harvest, transportation and trade in the endangered Afzelia tree.

According to the directive, all local governments, National Forestry Authority (NFA) and relevant authorities are required to enforce the suspension and observe total adherence to the circular until the Ministry conducts a review of the ban. Again in March, 2018 the Ministry wrote a circular to Chief Administrative Officers of the affected districts to desist from disposing the impounded logs through auctioning.

The Ministry argues that though it is done after obtaining court orders, the process is subject to abuse which inconveniences traders and law enforcement agencies.