Gen Otafiire, M7 Top Advisor Want UWA Bosses To Be Investigated Over Foreign Tourists’ Murder As UK Issues Another Warning To Citizens Who Plan To Visit Uganda

Friday, October 20, 2023

Uganda’s Internal Affairs Minister, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, and Senior Presidential Advisor on Media, Joseph Tamale Mirundi, have called for an investigation into the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) leadership in connection with the recent killing of foreign tourists at Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kasese district.

President Museveni confirmed that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were responsible for the tragic murder of a newlywed foreign couple during their honeymoon in Uganda, along with their Ugandan driver, Eric Alyai. The assailants not only killed the tourists and their driver but also set their vehicle ablaze before fleeing.

Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye, the army spokesperson, has vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. However, Gen. Otafiire expressed reservations about hastily attributing the killings to the ADF and emphasized the need for a thorough investigation to determine the true culprits. He disclosed that UWA executives are among the individuals under scrutiny.

Joseph Tamale Mirundi echoed these concerns, suggesting that the primary beneficiaries of the tourists’ murder could be UWA leaders. He alluded to ongoing internal disputes within the authority and implied a link between the murder and efforts to divert attention from a multi-billion scandal involving the issuance of fake gorilla permits by UWA officials, who allegedly pocketed the proceeds.

Mirundi, who identifies as an investigative journalist, asserted that the murderers intended to convey a clear message to their adversaries within the authority, warning them against pursuing the investigation. He emphasized the potential long-term negative impact on Uganda’s tourism sector, indicating that tourists might fear visiting the country. He noted that Rwanda has been benefiting from Uganda’s gorillas due to its efforts in offering tourists a comfortable experience and effective marketing.

Bashir Hajji, the UWA spokesperson, countered these claims by stating that the tourists were not killed inside the national park but on a public road, asserting that sufficient security is in place within the park to protect visitors.

Despite President Museveni’s directives to enhance security for tourists, the United Kingdom issued a travel advisory warning its citizens, particularly about visiting Uganda’s national parks. This marks the third such advisory issued by the UK this year regarding travel to Uganda.

Additional Reporting by: Sengooba Alirabaki

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