President Yoweri Museveni has disclosed that government is to develop well planned stop over centers along high ways leading to tourism centers in the country.
Museveni says that, so far, physical plans have been drawn for places called Muko, Bustema, Kafo, Corner Kamudini and plans are underway for Kibiro hot spring in Kigorobya Sub County, Hoima district.
President Museveni disclosed this government plan in the tourism sector on 22nd December 2015 through the minister of tourism, wildlife and antiquities, Mary Mutagamba who read his speech at Murchison falls national park while passing over 224 game rangers and also handed over shs2.3 billion to six districts neighboring the park.
Museveni held that, conservation of wild life protected areas is key to sustainability of tourism resources and the pass out for the game rangers was to fulfill the security objective of conserving wildlife. He said the creation of tourism police, increased number of game rangers, and strict border controls have significantly reduced poaching and illegal trade in wild animals and their parts, all of which have contributed to steady increase of wild life population in the country.
The president said that: “A review of wild life Act is also on going aimed at incorporating more stringent policies for the perpetuators of wild life bad game, including wildlife trafficking and poaching”. He said that, Uganda is regaining her position as top best destination as it was in Africa as it was in early 1960’s. in last four years, we have received several accolades in tourism sector after refocusing our direction towards development through tourism by repackaging attractive investment incentives ranging from profit repatriation, tax holidays, facilitating importation of tourism based vehicles and property acquisition through Uganda Investment Authority”.
Museveni however proceeded that, although tourism is one of the major sector contributing towards social economic transformation of Uganda, the masses should bear in mind the negative effects of travel and tourism to socio economic public like terrorism, child trafficking, child labor, poaching, drug trafficking and prostitution.
“Tourists should not use cover of tourism to come to our country and therefore we will not allow terrorists from neighboring countries to exploit our forest covers for illegal activities. To game rangers who have passed out, you are going to be deployed in various units, where you will be required to perform to your best ability. Do not for crimes to happen and then you go to solve a problem but make surveillances to prevent crimes by liaising with the communities”, Museveni instructed.
The president also said that, in forces, training is a motivational tool in ensuring security, law and order as well as equipping participants with protective and security skills for effective performance of duty.
“We have recognized the importance of tourism in social economic transformation of this country. This is reflected in recent national development plan phrase II and vision 2040. We have started supporting regional tourism clusters in Bunyoro, Buganda, Busoga Kigezi, Eastern and Northern tourism clusters. All these together with faith based initiatives like Namugongo are linking us together to have development in the country. This is also aimed at developing domestic tourism that will eventually increase revenue to the local communities”, Museveni illuminated.
In his speech, the president also warned accounting officers from districts neighboring the park against misusing the money got as 25% of gate collections revenue sharing fund.
The districts that that shared a total of shs2.3 billion were Masindi shs141m, Nebbi shs353m, Buliisa shs706m, Oyam shs241m, Nwoya shs491m and Kiryandongo shs353m.