Environment

Mutwa Arrested for Burning Echunya Forest Reserve

The suspect Kaben Mfitumukiza (C) after being arrested

A 45 year old man has been arrested for allegedly starting the fire that burnt down over 30 hectares of Echuya Forest Reserve, cure http://crazytour.am/wp-admin/includes/ms-admin-filters.php one of the biggest forest reserves in Uganda in Kisoro district destroying.

The suspect has been identified as, health Kaben Mfitumukiza a Mutwa resident of Gitebe cell, pills Kagezi parish in Kanaba sub county, Kisoro District.

The suspect's wife protests her husband's arrest

The suspect’s wife protests her husband’s arrest

Hebert Turyahabwe, the Forest supervisor says the fire started on Saturday at around 9pm when Mfitumukiza went to the forest to steal honey from the beehives.

The fire he says started from the point and tore through 30 hectares of forest cover, before it was contained by the police fire brigade with help from the locals.

The locals according to Turyahabwe, mobilized together with local crime preventers and were able to apprehend the suspect at his home where he was found with the honey.

He was handed over to police at Kisoro police station and when asked, the admitted to have committed the offence and pleaded for forgiveness.

Drama ensued when upon being arrested, the suspect’s wife jumped on the pick-up truck saying that her husband could not be arrested alone.

Edgar Akankwasa the Kisoro District police commander says police has started investigations and that Mfitumukiza will be charged accordingly.

Echuya Forest Reserve is located in Kigezi Sub Region in Rubanda and Kisoro Districts and it used to be the home of the Batwa until government in 1991 turned it into Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks for Mountain Gorillas. The Batwa were thus evicted from the forest.

Originally, Batwa were forest-dwelling hunter-gatherers based in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, and are widely accepted as the original inhabitants of the region.

As their traditional forest lands and territories fell under the control of agro-industries and conservation agencies, the Batwa became squatters living on the edges of society.

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