Court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Kyegegwa His Worship Wandera Wilson on September, 7th, 2021 sentenced Kadidi Frank to a fine of 7,000,000/= in default to serve 8 years in prison for negligently permitting 10 heads of cattle to graze in the protected area. Kadidi a resident of Rwembogo village, Ruyonza sub country, Kyegegwa district was on 4th, September, 2021 arrested with his cattle impounded by Uganda Wildlife Authority staff and later transferred to Kyegegwa police station. When he was produced in court, the accused pleaded guilty to the offence of negligently permitting his cattle to graze in a restricted area.
The UWA prosecution team led by Latif Amis told court that Kadidi is a subsequent offender who has completely failed to learn from the previous convictions. He added that illegal grazing of domestic animals undermines the productivity and biodiversity of protected areas including aiding the spread of zoonotic diseases between wildlife and domestic animals as well as humans. He asked court to give a deterrent sentence.
The UWA ED Sam Mwandha welcomed the sentence emphasizing that many savannah protected areas have long been battling with illegal cattle grazers that have made it a habit to deplete the grassland. This has heavily impacted on the wildlife health with pasture for many grazers reducing. This he said contributes to wildlife seeking alternatives feeding areas outside the gazetted zones hence increasing human wildlife conflicts. Under the old law, the penalties were not punitive enough. “I am therefore glad that the new wildlife law is coming out strong to offer stronger punitive measures for wildlife offenders including now the illegal cattle grazers,” he noted.