Five jailed for cutting endangered tree species

The Amuru grade one Magistrate, Joseph Angole on Wednesday sentenced five people to two and half years in Prison for cutting endangered tree species of Afzelia Africana and sheanut trees.

In February this year, Government suspended the harvesting and trade in shea nut and Afzella African trees and products in a move to protect the tree which they say was endangered. Shea nut fruits are used as edibles and also made into confectionaries, lotions among other products.

Now the court in Amuru has charged five people with two counts of illegal logging of protected trees contrary to section 31 of the National Forestry and tree planting Act of 2003 and the second count was for the transportation of protected tree species.

The five convicts include Bule Fred 35 years, Denish Anok Ocen 30, a resident of Amuru district, Eddie Nsubuga, a resident of Makindye in Kampala, Morris Otim a resident of Gulu Municipality and Jerry Madera 34, from Mukono district.

Aswa regional Police Spokesperson Jimmy Patrick Okema said the five were arrested on the 15th of May in Akuru-kwer trading Center in Amuru district with their trucks and all were impounded.

Mr. Okema added that they have also impounded five Truck that were carrying the  endangered tree species and some Charcoals adding that these should be a clear message illegal tree dealers.

Many districts in the northern region are facing severe deforestation for charcoal by both locals and traders from kampala. Several districts have put in place ordinances to check massive tree cutting in vain as several trucks carrying charcoal continue to ply the Gulu-Kampala highway.