Captain Joseph Charles Roy (JCR) and his family trading as Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch (ZRWR) are disgruntled after a South African investor they partnered with has suddenly attempted to grab their land measuring 16,000 acres.
The investor in question is Angella (Angie) Genade, the Executive Director of Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU). She claims Capt Roy wants the rhinos removed from the ranch yet RFU has nowhere to take them.
The rhinos are kept at Capt Roy’s ranch on concessional terms with Angella’s husband Genade.
Apparently, Angie as she is commonly known has been mobilizing the local community, international community and the government to intervene in this matter which she says threatens the endangered species of Southern White Rhinos, only found at ZRWR in the whole country and only two at Entebbe Zoo.
However, Roy argues that the claims that he is against the conservation effort are a deliberate attempt to tarnish his image because of the conflict between his family and RFU.
SoftPower News has obtained a letter by Roy dated February 7 2019 addressed to President Yoweri Museveni seeking his intervention in the matter.
This website understands that this letter titled ‘Matters of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary (The Conflict)’ to the President has since been blocked by a conflicted State House official from reaching him.
According to Roy’s letter, in 2002, a lady in the name of Yvonne of RFU approached him and his family with the idea of re-introducing Rhinos into Uganda and have them use his Nakitooma Ranch in Nakasongola as habitat.
Yyvone successfully persuaded Roy to become a conservationist and he accepted.
Roy bought another Ranch at Kiryana, Masindi and moved over 7,000 animals he had at his Nakitooma Ranch based in Nakasongola district, at his cost.
Roy spent over Shs 7bn in relocating his business, says the letter.
Nakitooma Ranch is the current home of these Rhinos. The letter adds that Roy subsequently built a perimeter fence at Buruli (Nakitooma) ranch together with Yvonne.
“His daughter Wendy Roy, himself and Yvonne organized international fundraising for the electric fence and the cost of translocating the initial 4 Rhinos from Kenya and another 2 from USA,” the letter to the President adds.
It is understood that Roy offered his 16,000 acres of land for the good of the country and wildlife.
He and family were part and parcel of the initial Board, recruited the previous 4 Executive Directors of RFU and he (Roy) was key in the decision making process on the RFU and Rhinos.
Roy also constructed all the houses at the sanctuary, drilled boreholes and water dips among other enormous contributions.
Documents obtained by this website show that in 2010, JCR gave a 25-year Concession Agreement to Angella’s husband Genade to operate a lodge at the Ranch (D & D International).
Under the Concession Agreement, D&D International, a company owned by Angella and her family, were to pay 10% of gross income from the lodge, 10% from the Restaurant to JCR from 2010.
It was also to pay another 10% from accommodation and 10% from the Restaurant to RFU as JCR’s contribution to the welfare of the Rhinos.
However, Roy’s letter to the President says that not a shilling has been paid by D&D International or Angella’s family to JCR and family.
He also accuses D & D International of committing several crimes including dodging paying taxes to the Government of Uganda and mobilizing the Local Government and Community with a view of grabbing Capt Roy’s land among others.
“All the above and the issue of non-payment forced JCR in November 2017 to terminate the Concession with both RFU and D & D International,” the letter says.
However, Angella refused the termination and run to Arbitration as provided by the Agreement.
“She immediately put a caveat on the 16,000 Acres without any interest known; she was merely a tenant and a foreigner who cannot caveat Mailo land,” reads the letter.
It is also understood that she attempted to convert the tenancy to a lease Agreement. Furthermore, she denied Capt Roy and his family access to the land and the right to upgrade their lodge and Ranch.
It is also understood that Roy sought the intervention of RFU to remove Angella from RFU Executive Director but he didn’t succeed as she holds a lot of powers.
“Their actions and failure to act by the terms of the two Concessions is what is a danger to the Rhinos,” the letter says.
The sanctuary attracts close to 100,000 tourists a year.
In the letter, Roy requests President’s intervention “to reign on the police leadership of Nakasongola to stop protecting the land grabbers but instead protect the animals and his land”.