Akol (left) at the prosecutors symposium at Hotel African on November 22. Photo by Mary Kansiime
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has so far confiscated over 2.1 tonnes of ivory from smugglers, Keffa Ndeke, a prosecutor with the authority has said.
He said that some of the ivory was found with clearing agents at various border points, who on interrogation feigned ignorance of the illicit activity.
When we asked them why they cleared the smuggled ivory, they said that they did not know what they were clearing, he said.
Ivory smuggling is still prevalent in Uganda despite efforts by UWA to confiscate and at times prosecute the smugglers.
Some of these efforts have suffered a setback caused by some of the Authorities officials who have been found aiding the trade or trying to steal the confiscated Ivory.
In early November this year, it was reported in the local dailies that UWA was investigating the exact quantity of ivory pieces impounded in August. It was reported that the security seized over 300 pieces of ivory from suspects but only handed over 108 pieces to the Police.
In 2016, the Inspector of Government arrested four officials of UWA over the loss of 1,340.6kg of ivory. The four were later charged with abuse of office and corruption at the Anti-Corruption Court.
Speaking at the third prosecutors symposium held at Hotel Africana on Wednesday, Ndeke noted that ivory traffickers use Uganda as a transit country for their businesses because Ugandas legislation on illicit trade is weak with non-commensurate penalties....