On 3rd June 2018, Ngetha Media Association for Peace wrote letters of invitation to all the Local Councils One of Dei Parish, security personnel , religious leaders, youth representative , the LC3 panyimur and his councilors, business community , beach management unit among others . The two organizations have invited these people to come for a stakeholders engagement meeting that was to take place yesterday on the 8th ,June 2018 with the views of discussing and engaging the stakeholders on issues regarding developing ordinances or bye-laws for wetland management and protection of environment as well as critical eco-systems located within Dei Parish which are actually breeding grounds for various fish species .These eco -systems are being degraded as a result of human activities and encroachment among others ( for example WANG DEI which is a home for crocodiles , Hippotamus and various reptiles among others) is being degraded and encroached on .
However, yesterday the police stopped the organisers of the meeting from having the said meeting citing that the meeting agenda was not relevant and that the organizers of the meeting were planning demonstration. Two military men were deployed at the meeting venues at about 9:00 am . Both staff of Ngetha Media and Lake Albert social Network were summoned to appear before OC Police Dei to answer few questions like who fund them, when was the organization registered, why is it called Ngetha etc etc . It should be noted that while they were at Dei Police , the DPC of Pakwach district called directly from his office and threatened to de-register both Ngetha and LASNET from operating in Pakwach because according to him he thinks that the two organisations are promoting homosexuality by recruiting youth into lesbianism , he also noted that he got information from LC3 of Panyimur sub county Ofoi shaban who told him that the two organisations are collaborating with foreign donors to finance terrorism activities to destabilize Oil and development project in Bulisa. Therefore he told the organisers that the meeting is void .Without any written consent as to why the meeting was prevented, the DPC actually refused to give us more valid clarification in regards.
Information reaching Ngetha Media Association for Peace and Lake Albert Social Network indicates that there could be some thing wrong going on .Its alleged that the Pakwach district is in advance stages of selling/leasing part of Lake Albert in Dei to Kenyan investors for their private fish cage project. Evidence suggest that this could be the reason why the DPC stopped the meeting from taking place on assumption that the organisers of the meeting were going to expose this malice and fraudulent dealings by local government to sell/or lease international public goods ( Lake Albert) TO Kenyan investors without consulting the indigenous people who depends directly on these critical eco-systems for their livelihoods. Selling of this ecological biodiversity to Kenyan investors without consulting local people who depends on this nature is a violation of fundamental human and economic rights of the indigenous people whose life depends on the said eco-systems .The people of Dei have protected WANG DEI wetland since time in memorial for the benefits of current and future generation .Selling this eco-system to Kenyan investors without consulting people is not a good thing for the administration of Pakwach to do .
It should be noted that the land (partly located in lake Albert) which Pakwach district intend to sell to the Kenyan investors in Dei is a protected land that constitutes part of the network of protected areas (Murchison Falls, Wadelai and Luli Kayonga) that protect the northern shores of Lake Albert and Albert Nile.The land includes LULI KAYONGA Central forest reserve which also acts as water catchment for some streams which empty their water into Lake Albert. Today, the FR is still managed for the same environmental purposes but it is also targeted for production of forest products like timber by small-holder outgrowers and now threats from Kenyan investors.
We demand for the protection of wetlands. It would be a shame for the leaders to sell or lease these important critical ecological biodiversity to benefit single foreign individuals.
We believe that the deal that is being fronted by Ofoi Shaban of Panyimur sub county will not benefit Ugandans particularly the indigenous community of Dei: Instead selling this land to Kenyan investors will be for the personal gain of few Pakwach administrators /corrupt leaders like Ofoi Shaban who is in support for the selling and leasing of these eco-systems to Kenyan investors.It should be noted that we are dealing with people who are counted as one of the most corrupt local leaders in Pakwach district .You must know that the people advocating for the selling of part of Lake Albert/lands have in the past embezzled hundreds of millions of Ugandan shillings raised by the Uganda wild life Authority for community development in selected sub county near Murchison falls national park .
There is alleged bribes paid to the leaders in Pakwach and Panyimur by the Kenyan Investors to illegally acquire the wetlands in Dei, Nyamutagana and part of LULI Kayonga central forest resrves. Why would the Kenyan investors come directly to the local people who are the stewards of the wetlands instead of dealing with corrupt leaders and thieves who stolen everything from local people to enrich themselves?.
Apparently in Dei ,there is widespread insecurity of person and property, and the police that would protect citizens collude with criminals to profit from their activities – the police officers themselves are among the most corrupt and have been cited in torture , corruption and violation of human rights .Police are increasingly threatening the life of fishermen ,inciting violence and raping women among others .
Information about the land deals and selling of Lake Albert to Kenyan investors will be made available through Google searches as well as the website of Ngetha Media Association for Peace.