ADJUMANI. Motorcycle taxi riders or Boda Bodas as they are commonly known have impounded a truck carrying logs in Adjumani district.
Their action comes at the backdrop of a November 4th visit by the European Union in Uganda accompanied by top government officials on the state of the fast vanishing Zoka forest.
During the visit, Gen Moses Ali, the first deputy prime Minister said the district had recommended suspension of licenses for forest products but urged enforcement officers to step up their efforts.
Environment state minister Ms Beatrice Anywar during the same visit also promised tough action if the illegal logging of the highly valuable but endangered Afzelia Africana species continues.
However, despite the promising speeches, the group ‘Friends of Zoka’ that was responsible for the EU delegation visit continued to report increasing illegal logging in the district.
The group has in the past accused the district leaders of conniving with the illegal loggers to deplete the 1259-hactare natural forest.
The action of the Boda Bodas further suggests the growing discontent of the population in their local leaders in the manner of dealing with the loggers.
After a reported quick mobilization by Mr Williams Amanzuru, the coordinator friends of Zoka, the boda boba group intercepted the truck travelling on the Adjumani - Gulu road in front of the Resident district commissioner’s (RDC) office.
Amanzuru, the coordinator friends of Zoka said earlier on, he had informed the police about the presence of the loggers but without heed prompting him to mobilize the boda boda riders to reinforce his efforts.
Amanzuru described the behavior by the district authorities as very unfortunate and uncalled for but hailed the Boda Bodas for their effort.
“This fight is not an individual fight, it is a communal fight aimed at protecting our environment”, Amanzuru stated.
He also revealed that, before they acted, they first attempted to call the district leaders and RDC and the first deputy prime minister Gen Moses about the matter.
In response, Gen Ali told them to arrest the truck if the district leaders had not responded but advised against vandalism of the logs and the truck.
Mr Richard Baru, the chairperson of the Boda Boda riders in Adjumani district said although the action by the boda Bodas was not their own initiative, it was worth it because of the manner in which forest products are destroyed in the district.
Mr Taban Peter Data, the RDC Adjumani also hailed the Boda Bodas for their action since calls made to some of the district authorities did not yield fruit.
Mr Jack Byaruhanga, the chief administrative officer Adjumani confirmed that they were aware about the occurrence.
He urged the boda bodas and other members of the community to continue being vigilant and notify them of any such illegal activity.