Bugoma Forest Standoff: Detained Journalist Released

Security have finally released without charges a Hoima Based journalist, Gad Asaba who was yesterday Thursday morning arrested under unclear circumstances while covering a story on the ongoing destruction of Bugoma Central Forest Reserve by Hoima Sugar Limited.

The incident occurred at Rwembaaho Village in Kabwoya Sub-County, Kikuube District earlier on Thursday.

The group of journalists were responding to allegations that a group of 300 people armed with power saws, axes, hoes and machetes had been ferried into Bugoma forest to aid the ongoing destruction of the forest

According to the RDC of Kikuube District, Richard Tabaro, Asaba, a journalist with Kazi-njemanews, an online publication was “mistaken for an illegal timber logger” at the time of his arrest.

Asaba was also part of a team of journalists who were confronted by the soldiers while covering the destruction of the forest earlier this month.

Others were Andrew Kahwa of Spice FM, Ambrose Nuwagaba Katoto of TV West and Godfrey Muhumuza of BBSTV, who survived the arrest after escaping from the scene.

Just two months ago, another group of journalists under their umbrella body Water and Environment Media Network were arrested and detained at Hoima Central Police Station for allegedly masterminding a ploy to conduct an unlawful demonstration against the giveaway of Bugoma Forest to Hoima Sugar Limited by NEMA to convert it into a sugar plantation.

Environment conservationists are protesting clearance of Hoima Sugar Limited by NEMA to use 21 square miles carved out of the forest Reserve to establish a sugar factory alongside other developments.



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