KAMPALA – Maj Gen Kasirye Ggwanga has in the past two weeks shot and deflated tyres of two trucks carrying timber in what he says is a war against environmental degradation in his home district of Mityana in central Uganda.
The controversial soldier had earlier announced that he will singlehandedly fight indiscriminate tree cutting from the forest reserves in his home county of Busunjju and true to his word, a few days later, he intercepted a truck carrying eucalyptus tree logs in Kajoji Village, Maanyi Sub-county and shot at its tyres, deflating them.
In the latest incident which occurred in the same village at the weekend, Maj Gen Ggwanga intercepted a Fuso lorry that was loading eucalyptus logs, shot at it and deflated its tyres.
The lorry driver, Mr Gerald Wambi, said he wondered why the soldier shot at the vehicle yet he had cut the trees from his own forest and not that of government.
He said he reported the matter to Maanyi Police Station but the latter did nothing to help. Wamala Region Police spokesman Nobert Ochom confirmed the incident and said they have since launched investigations.
When contacted, Gen Ggwanga said: “Many people were cultivating in these forest reserves and would earn a living. However, they were evicted and a few people from faraway were given leases to plant eucalyptus trees. Now they are cutting and selling them. We shall not accept this.”
“Natural wells and swamps are drying up and shortage of water is becoming one of the major problems. We cannot wait for more problems. Let me start helping my people.”
The incident comes barely 8 months after Maj Gen Ggwanga shot at a car apparently belonging to the National Resistance Movement leaning artiste, Ms Catherine Kusasira. The incident happened on Tuesday at Makindye, a Kampala suburb, in January.
In 2017, Gwanga (then at the rank of brigadier), burnt the tractor on the land which he said was owned by his daughter at Naziba village on Lubowa hill in Ndejje, off Entebbe Road. He wasn’t charged of any offence.