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ANOTHER MUSEVENI INVESTOR! Government Reportedly Planning to Sell to Murchison Falls Park to Foreign Investor

Murchison Falls National Park. Courtesy Photo

Reports are emerging that President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s government is planning to sell Murchison Falls National Park to a foreign investor, with a company already said to have been approached to take over the park and make it more profitable.

 The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities (MTWA) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) are being accused for working out plan to sell Murchison Falls National Park.

Locally referred to as Kabalega National Park, Murchison Falls National Park is found at the end of the Albertine Rift Valley. It is considered the largest safari park in Uganda.

The allegations of a possible sale are being fronted by tourism and travel sector playersfrom the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) led by Herbert Byaruhanga, and the Association of Uganda Tour Operators whose Chairperson is Civvy Tumusiime.

Both Byaruhanga and Tumusiime are concerned about what they call a plan that could end in the sale of Murchison Falls National Park in a manner that sector players believe may not benefit the country.

They have argued that they were not convinced about the benefits of such a model of running national parks in the country.

Reports are also suggesting that talks been UWA on one side and a foreign investor in the names of Space for Giants, be already be ongoing with the intention of selling the park to this company.

But senior officials from UWA and the Tourism Ministry such as Permanent Secretary Doreen Katusiime, UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha and spokesperson Bashir Hangi have trashed these allegations as false, insisting that no such plan had been hatched.

But ED Mwandha has hinted on the possibility of a public-private partnership that could see Murchison Falls National Park managed by government and a foreign company. But he was quick to note that no deal had been signed yet.

UWA has previously entered public-private partnerships to ensure effective management of protected area under its jurisdiction such as for Kabwoya and Pian Upe Wildlife Reserves.

This is not the first time a plan to sell such important places is coming up. Last year, there were claims that Museveni government had sold Entebbe International Airport to the Chinese government. There was also a plan for Museveni to put the coffee sector in the hands of questionable Italian investor Pinetti. (See Details Here and There).

Just a few days ago it emerged that Museveni’s government was planning to privatize the national army, the UPDF, so that Ugandans who wants army officers to guard their chicken and cattle firms can hire them at a fee. (Read Story Here).

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