President Yoweri Museveni has directed the disbandment of the current board of the Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU) and the constitution of a new team of directors aimed at ending the impasse over the ownership of land and management of Rhinos at the Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola.
Sources at last week’s meeting in Entebbe said, President Museveni recognised Roy’s significant contribution to the existence of Rhino’s in Uganda, noting that hadnt he offered land, the Rhino’s wouldn’t have had a sanctuary to stay.
The President argued that since Capt. Roy had a legitimate interest in the land, he be allowed to enter into a fresh five-year joint agreement with RFU to manage the welfare of the Rhino’s and that both parties share revenues generated from the venture equally.
Mr. Museveni then directed that Captain Roy be reappointed to the Board and that after five years, the two parties could determine whether they want to continue with the partnership or part ways.
With the presidents approval, the board was also expanded from the initial seven to nine members. RFU will have four representatives, Capt. Roy will have 3 representatives while Government would be represented by two members.
The President’s final intervention puts to end an acrimonious fall out between RFU and Capt. Roy who had been embroiled in a litany of court cases over the management of the Rhino sanctuary.
Capt. Roy had accused Genade of attempting to grab 16,000 acres of land that he had leased to RFU while Genade accused Capt. Roy of wanting to evict them from the ranch.
The meeting was attended by Tourism Minister, Ephraim Kamuntu, RFU Board Members Daudi Makobore (Vice Chairman) and RFU Executive Director Angie Genade.
Also in attendance were Captain Roy, Bonnie Wendy and lawyer Richard Omongole of Omongole and Company advocates. Uganda Wildlife Authority officials led by their Executive Director Sam Mwandha also attended the meeting.
-Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary-
Captain Roy was among the few who initiated the idea of re-introduction and breeding program of Rhinos into Uganda by offering land for the conservation of Rhinos. He used his own plane to transfer some of the Rhino’s that were donated from the US and brought others from Kenya including setting up the entire infrastructure which included digging up boreholes and securing donations to set up a fence.
He later entered into a 30-year lease with RFU but terminated it last year after he claimed that they failed to honor terms of their agreement. In return the RFU threw Captain Roy and his representatives out of the board and used police to deny them access to the ranch.