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Jail for the man who killed Rafiki, Uganda's rare silverback mountain gorilla
The killer of one of Uganda's best known mountain gorillas, Rafiki, has been jailed for 11 years.
Felix Byamukama pleaded guilty to illegally entering a protected area and killing a gorilla. Byamukama had said the gorilla attacked him and he killed Rafiki in self defence, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
Mountain gorillas are endangered with just over 1,000 in existence and the UWA said "Rafiki has received justice".
Patience Atuhaire in Kampala is following the story.
(Photo: Rafiki the gorilla was thought to be 25 years old when he died. Credit; Uganda Wildlife Authority)
Killer of rare gorilla jailed for 11 years
BBC News, Kampala
A court in Uganda has
sentenced a man to 11 years in prison, for the killing of a silverback
mountain gorilla in early June.
silverback - named Rafiki - was the leader of the oldest group of the rare mountain
gorillas to ever be habituated in the country, and was found dead with injuries to the stomach.
Byamukama, who pleaded guilty to three counts of illegal entry into a protected
area, was also convicted for the killing of a duiker and bushpig by the
magistrate’s court in the Western town of Kabale on Wednesday.
Conservationists were worried that the habituated group -
meaning that it is used to human contact - would be taken over by a wild
silverback. But the Wildlife Authority has since confirmed that the group of 11 is stable, now led by a blackback from within the family.
There are just over 1,000 mountain gorillas in existence in
the wild, which live in conservation area across Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are a vital source of tourism revenue for all three countries.
The country's wildlife body has recently raised concern about
an increase in poaching, with over 300 incidents recorded during the months of
the lockdown when tourism was shutdown.
The sector has now been reopened for selected conservation
Uganda's ruling party nominates Museveni for election
BBC News, Kampala
President Yoweri Museveni has been officially nominated by his party, National Resistance Movement (NRM), as its candidate for the 2021
candidature will need to be cleared by the country's electoral commission in
he contests and wins, Mr Museveni - who has ruled the country for 34
years - will be in power for another five.
other parties have not officially announced representatives for the January
elections, Mr Museveni’s toughest challenger is likely to be musician and
politician Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, who appears to appeal to younger voters.
2017, the ruling party used its muscle in parliament to vote overwhelmingly for removal of presidential terms limits.
Critics said Mr Museveni
had been handed a chance at life presidency.
Last month the electoral body announced that the elections will be held in January 2021, but with no campaign rallies because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Campaigns will be carried out online and
through radio and TV, it said.
Radio is the most accessible form of media in Uganda.
The ruling party already appears to have
an advantage over the opposition in the campaigns since most stations are owned NRM-leaning people.
EU approves visit to Uganda parks
Business correspondent, BBC News
Officials from the European
Union have declared Uganda's parks as officially open to tourism after making
symbolic visits at the weekend.
The Ugandan tourism industry is
now hoping the government will open the country's airspace soon, to allow
flights carrying foreign visitors.
Tourism, which earns Uganda $1.6bn (£1.2bn) a year, has suffered huge losses since the country was shut down in
March to contain coronavirus.
Travel by road and air was
banned, but hotels which were forced to close are open again.
The reopening of national parks
is another step towards the recovery of tourism, but the industry needs
airlines flying again to bring in foreign visitors.
Uganda’s airport and aviation
authorities have issued measures to keep travellers and staff safe, such as
screening passengers and their luggage for the virus.
However, that process will
require people, who are departing the country, to be at the airport four hours
before their flight leaves.
Once those aviation measures get a green light from the
government Uganda's tourism industry will be ready for take off.
Uganda confirms second Covid-19 death
BBC News, Uganda
Uganda has confirmed its second death from Covid-19 as the country continues to gradually ease restrictions imposed four months ago.
The ministry of health said the 80-year-old woman was from a densely populated informal settlement in the capital, Kampala.
She died at a hospital on Friday after exhibiting symptoms consistent with Covid-19 which include cough, fever, chest pain and difficulty in breathing.
A postmortem by the Uganda Virus Research Institute and the Makerere University confirmed that she had died of Covid-19.
The health ministry said it had began tracing individuals who may have come into contact with her.
Uganda recorded its first fatality from the disease last week, a 34-year-old woman who worked at a hospital in the eastern border district of Namasindwa.
The country has so far recorded 1,115 cases of coronavirus.
Further tweets explain that the 34-year-old woman was originally being treated for pneumonia in hospital last week. She died on Tuesday and was buried on Thursday.
She was part of the support staff at a health centre and the health ministry says 30 people who have may have come into
contact with the woman have been placed under quarantine and the tracing of other people who interacted with her is
Uganda has recorded 1,079 cases of coronavirus.
The country began a phased easing of lockdown
restrictions in May and on Wednesday allowed traders in one of the most
congested areas of the capital, Kampala, to return to reopen their shops.
The country’s World Health Organization
representative, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldermariam, said at a media briefing that the
death does not indicate that Uganda should reinstate total lockdown as it
will depend on various issues, including the number of infections and the
capacity of health facilities to handle them.