Some of Uganda’s laws are outdated and thus not in position to deal with the challenges of the 21st century.
Cases in point are the laws on drug trafficking as well as poaching and smuggling of high-value items such as ivory.
When such laws, most of which provide for a few years in jail or small fines, were enacted, the said crimes were not as prevalent or as destructive as they are today, hence the tendency to be lenient. Now that it’s looking increasingly clear some of these laws are out of touch, it’s time to update them.
This is necessary to stop Uganda turning into the world’s capital of illicit drug and wildlife products trade, given that unscrupulous characters from all over the world are already taking advantage of this weak legal regime.
The newly appointed Director of Public Prosecutions, Mike Chibita, was recently quoted as saying he would like to see tougher sentences for drug trafficking offenders, and we agree in principle.
However, while the death penalty might be politically incorrect, life imprisonment should be deterrent enough for peddling in deadly drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
Besides drugs, another deadly activity that the established laws appear too weak to confront is poaching and transacting in high-value animal products, particularly ivory.
Incidents of ivory being intercepted in Uganda have been rising, including a recent case of a priest arrested in western Uganda and two tonnes impounded at Mombasa, having originated from Uganda. More....