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Chief Justice Condemns Killing of Poachers

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe yesterday strongly condemned the shooting on-site of illegal hunters in Queen Elizabeth National Park by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers.

The Chief Justice was speaking in reference to media reports about four suspected poachers who went missing last month and are believed to have been shot dead by rangers.

Those still missing to this date are; Vincensio Busingye, 47, Julius Mateso, 27, Didas Byamugisha, 40, all from Kyema Village in Magambo Sub-county and Asaph Mbyemire, 48, from Nyakasozi Village in Kicwamba Sub-county.

These are said to have been found by rangers skinning a buffalo near Kazinga Channel.

Locals in the area say the poachers were 5 in total but one narrowly escaped with a bullet in the leg.

Residents suspect that the group was killed by park wardens and bodies thrown to animals in the park.

UWA officials denied the allegations.

Speaking at the ground breaking function for the construction of a JLOS center in Rubirizi district on Thursday, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe condemned the use of excessive force to deal with poaching.

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Katureebe noted that poaching has existed in the area even when he still represented it in parliament.

“I fought poaching when I was still the Member of Parliament up to now people from here still go to hunt in the national park; it is against the law to go and poach.” He said. “But to arrest someone and even kill them that is totally unacceptable.”

“We are requesting officials from the national park that if they arrest a person who is in the national park now we have the magistrate here, prosecute him here we shall sentence him to go and serve time in prison,” advised Katureebe.

Katureebe called for further investigations into the alleged shooting of the four.

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