Tuesday, 8 November 2016

UGANDA: Is Roast Roadside Meat Safe?

Roast meat vendors at Kafu, on the Gulu-Kampala highway have demanded an apology from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for undermining the formerly brisk business.

The traders led by Mr Isma Seninde, their chairman, are demanding that Dr Andrew Seguya, the UWA executive director, retracts the statement he made against them because it has sabotaged their business as travellers no longer stopover to buy roast meat, cassava and soft drinks for fear of being served roast baboon meat.

"For the seven years I have been here, I have never seen a baboon in this area being slaughtered. Wherever [Dr} Suguya got his information from, he must come and explain to us because it has affected our business since the media spread the information widely," he told this newspaper on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Godfrey Nyakahuma, the Masindi Resident District Commissioner, had to intervene on Tuesday to calm down the traders who were planning to block traffic on the Masindi-Kafu road as well as the Kampala-Gulu high way to explain to the travelers that they sell genuine beef.

When contacted, Mr Nyakahuma confirmed the development. "The information was so damaging for us even as a district because eating baboons causes ebola and that is a security threat," he said, adding that the report by Dr Seguya was false.

Recently, while addressing journalists, Dr Seguya warned the public against eating roast meat at Kafu saying sometimes it is baboon meat sold by poachers.

When this newspaper travelled through Kafu on Wednesday evening, the traders were pratically pleading with passengers to buy their roast meat.

According to Mr Seninde, the UWA statement damaged their business and has seen the number of animals being slaughtered for mchomo from seven cows and 15 goats daily, to just one cow and three goats a day; and sometimes the unsold beef is burnt.