MP Zaake Accused of Illegal Deforestation and Tree Smuggling Amidst Severe Heat Wave

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Francis Zaake MP for Mityana Municipality on the National Unity Platform (NUP) party has been sighted in active deforestation in his constituency, where he is reported to be behind the cutting down of trees from Mukambwe forest reserve, and exporting them to South Sudan and Kenya for sale amidst these heat wave yet it was set aside as a controlled and preservation area

According to locals, Zaake has been actively contracting different people to cut down trees from the Mukambwe forest for his timber business which he exports to South Sudan and Kenya, he intimidates whoever tries to question his intentions of clearing the forest amidst this scorching hot weather.

“Zaake has decided to kill us in this heat wave by cutting down our only source of fresh air and hope of trapping some rain, he is usually a very noisy and vocal person, when outside Mityana, back home here he is harassing people with threats so that he cuts the trees without anyone complaining,” one disappointed resident said.

The residents revealed that the timber is cut in sizes of 50mm thickness 396cm length and 10cm width, sold at Ugx. 27,000 per piece and each truck normally takes 300 hundred pieces which is loaded at a fee of Ugx.100, 000 to Ugx. 300,000, saying that they have not only encroached on Mukambwe but other forests like Kasa, Kajonde, Walugundo, and Bulonda.

“In recent years politicians like Zaake have used their offices to encroach on the central forest reserves and over 300, 000 hectares from six forest reserves have been encroached on by our so-called MP, to satisfy his greed, which has increased degradation in Mityana district,” the disappointed resident stated.

The residents are cursing themselves, for electing such a leader who is money-hungry and does not care about the well-being of his people and society, by destroying their forest reserves which act as catchment areas, forests ensure the availability of water for agricultural production, and are habitat for forest biodiversity.

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