The chairman of the ongoing Commission of Enquiry into the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s World Bank funded PAMSU programme has reportedly ‘halted’ any further work of the commission, citing a ‘break in and evidence tampering’ as the reason for his decision. According to reliable sources from the Ministry of Tourism retired Supreme Court Justice George Kanyeihamba had gone to Central Police station to file a formal complaint, prompting the police to get involved in the affair which however suggest deeper underlying issues between the Commission, or rather its chairman and senior officials in the ministry.
It is alleged that Rtd. Justice Kanyeihamba directly accused the Permanent Secretary Ambassador Onen and the Undersecretary of involvement in the alleged break in, setting the two parties on a collision course bound to blow up in everyone’s face.
Ministry sources in contrast claim that after the split of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry during the formation of the new government, the newly created Ministry of Tourism required space in Farmer’s House where both ministries are now located, and that the commission’s offices were simply moved to another location within the building, with police officers present to witness that no evidence was removed or tampered with, and that the offices were not broken into but opened with keys. The same source also claimed that the commission had been requested to agree to a move to a different set of offices for over two weeks but failed to acknowledge the request or act on it, leaving the ministry no choice but to act in order to make space for a ministerial office now urgently needed.
The commission has initially been bogged down when Rtd. Justice Kanyeihamba accused the ministry of not funding it properly, and then announced a series of ‘problems’ with witnesses and evidence submitted, culminating in demands for suspension of UWA staff and making unscheduled appearances at the UWA head offices to demand for evidence in person, actions rather unprecedented in the history of past commissions of enquiry and probably pointing to what may be an altogether different agenda behind such almost comical theatrics.