District councillor summoned for de-campaigning presidential directive on wetlands

Dokolo – Police have summoned a district councilor of Dokolo for allegedly de-campaigning Presidential directives on wetlands.

Rafael Okello (NRM) a councilor of Bata town council was summoned on the orders of the Resident District Commissioner Barbara Akech to answer the allegations of rallying the community to resist calls to stop cultivating in the wetlands, despite sustained sensitization by the RDC on conservation of wetlands and the environment.

It’s alleged that in September, Okello rallied the residents to ‘rebel’ against the RDC once she continues moving from community to community talking about conservation of wetlands. Okello reportedly mobilized the residents while speaking to mourners in Okwongo-Iringo village, Atabu parish Bata in Sub County.

The councillor is said to have stated that ‘there are no wetlands in Bata Sub County’ and challenged the RDC to disapprove him if there is one in Bata. Moreover, the area named by the councilor is partly covered by several wetlands including Aminibutu.

His comments came at the time the RDC is moving Sub County by Sub County carrying out community sensitization with a call on the community to stop growing crops at wetlands.

Recently, the RDC issued a media statement that her office has given the farmers who may have their crops in the wetland areas until 31 of December to remove their harvest and thereafter they should not cultivate again in wetlands, warning that those who defy the directive shall be arrested and prosecuted.

On Thursday, the RDC reiterated calls on the leaders to join the campaign against cultivation of wetlands and disclosed that Rafael Okello is wanted by police for his utterances.

Akech told councilors during a council meeting that according to reports, Okello is still ‘preaching the same gospel’ of de-campaigning Presidential directives even outside his area of jurisdiction.

When contacted for comment, Okello told our reporter that he has never received summons by police or RDC but indicated he is ready to appear incase called. He denies any wrongdoing.

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