By Solomon Hamala
The Grade One Magistrate in Iganga Municipality has in a show of disagreement with the District’s Environmental Officer acquitted 7 persons earlier arrested for degrading a wetland in Igamba village at the outskirts of Iganga Town.
The trial magistrate, Yunus Ndiwalana while acquitting the accused who had been on court bail, said the suspects had been charged in an old law which doesn’t suit the present time.
The acquitted persons are Magumba Adhala Karim, Baisi Ahamed, Manyasi Muliro, Okello Mark, Okello James, Wakuno Friday and Mulimba Ronald, all resident of Iganga Municipality.
These were arrested in September by the Iganga District Environment Officer, Samanya Abdu after he got them degrading a wetland in Igamba village at the outskirts of Iganga Town.
At the time of their arrest, the accused were found cultivating rice, yams, cassava, and sweet potatoes which according to the environmental officer, amounted to degradation of the environment.
The accused where being represented by Balidawa & Co. Advocates.
The district Chairman, Ezra Gabula attended court when the accused were being set free. Gabula who had stood surety for the accused, applauded the magistrate for setting free the accused persons.
This has come at a time when President Museveni early this year, directed all the RDC’s and Environmental officers to chase away people from wetlands.
The directive which has since caused a lot of contestation from the public especially the wetland users across the country.