Three Dead: Ugandans Oppose Forest Give-away
Lukyamuzi: â€œAny sober government in the world of today cannot give away its natural forest to be destroyed by investors who want to grow their sugarcane. We should all resist the giving away of Mabira forest.''
AFRICA NEWS UPDATE
Three people were killed today when Ugandans opposing a government plan to give away forest reserves to investors launched a massive protest--riot police opened fire.
Two people were killed by police who opened fire with live rounds after an Asian was reported killed by some protestors.
Kampala, the Ugandan capital, came to a standstill today when more than a half-million people marched to oppose the government’s give away plan for the country’s famous forest reserve to investors.
The protest involving environmentalists, students, and ordinary people today stymied the Ugandan government’s proposal. All shops in Kampala were closed and some of the streets blocked off. Thousands marched in the streets carrying placards denouncing the government’s give-away proposal.
Last month the government offered part of Mabira forest to an Asian investor's company, The Mehta Group, to grow sugarcane to increase sugar production in the country. Many individuals and organizations opposed the move but the government went ahead anyway and initiated a cabinet discussion. Cabinet Okayed the sweetheart deal, enraging many Ugandans.
Protestors assembled at the Railway ground in the centre of the city to listen to environmentalists in the country. Among those who spoke was p addressed was John Ken Lukyamuzi, who accused the government for being insensitive to public opinion. “Ugandans have always opposed the giving away of Mabira,” he declared. “Any sober government in the world of today cannot give away its natural forest to be destroyed by investors who want to grow their sugarcane. We should all resist the giving away of Mabira forest.''
Some demonstrators also attacked property belonging to Asians, and scores of Asian families fled to police headquarters for protection.
Maganda writes for The Black Star News from Uganda.
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