Two Rosebud Flower Firm Managers have been arrested in an operation by the Wetland Inspection Division, Ministry of Water and Environment for allegedly encroaching on Lutembe bay wetland.
Ravi Kumar, Rosebud Farm Manager and Mehta Dimpo, the firm Administrator were arrested and taken to police for failing to adhere to environmental guidelines by pouring murram to reclaim Lutembe bay wetland.
Vincent Barugahare, a senior inspector Wetland Inspection, division said they had received Information that Rosebud flower Firm Management were pouring murram in Lutembe bay wetland to enable expansion of their firm. This is what prompted them to launch an operation during which they impounded three vehicles that were ferrying murram into the wetland.
He said they had previously spoken to Rosebud management over this without success.
During the operation Rosebud Flower firm Managers issued the inspectors with a certificate of approval from NEMA okaying the expansion of the flower firm.
They also backed the certificate with a letter from NEMA Executive Director Dr Tom Okurut dated May 8th okaying them to resume expanding the flower firm because the boundaries were re-opened and mapped in line with the earlier approval granted by the authority.
Sudhir Ruparelia, Rosebud Flower Firm Managing Director told press in a separate interview that they were surprised the inspectors had chosen to disregard the necessary documentation. He said they had instead used force to impound the equipment and arrest the workers.
Ruparelia said he now wants the environment authorities to formally write to him halting his planned expansion projects so they can take the matter to court for arbitration.
National Environment Management Authority Executive Director Dr Tom Okrut distanced himself from the matter referring it to the Wetland Inspection Division.
When Contacted, Mr Paul Mafabi, the Commissioner Wetland Inspection Division insisted that Rosebud were given guidelines that they have faulted.
Lutembe bay wetland was designated a reserve site on 15th September 2006 making it a wetland of international importance. It has globally threatened bird species, and rare flora and fauna. It has always been threatened by real estate developers like Hosana and Jomayi real estate, Nsubuga Besweri and family who have been selling it off and John Kabuye of KK properties but residents have been running to various offices to ensure its safety.