However, the affected residents say that they were not consulted before the decision to lease off the land was taken by the district.
Residents of Komacherin in Moruita sub-county in Nakapiripirit are accusing the district authorities of conniving with investors to rob them of their land. They accuse the district authorities of leasing off over 15,000 acres of land on Plot 42 along Amudat road to Feronia Uganda Ltd at shillings 440 million and Plot 44 on Lokeris road to Pro solution Ltd at shillings 140 million.
However, the affected residents say that they were not consulted before the decision to lease off their land was taken by the district. They accuse Hajji Nkobe, the secretary district land board of forging the documents used to carry out the land transaction. Richard Panyangara, the LC III chairman of Moruita sub-county says that the residents have rejected the shillings 40 million offered to them as compensation for their land by the district.
He says the community in Moruita sub county has refused to spend the money since they don’t know its source, adding that it is still intact on the sub county account. 75-year-old Gregory Loyelel, an elder from Karinga Village faults the district for leasing off their land without consulting them. He advises investors interested in extracting minerals and farmland to come out openly and consult the community at the grass root instead of cutting deals behind their backs with the authorities.
He says their Sub County lacks health facilities and clear water, yet their land is being squandered. Loyelel says those selling their land are not natives of the area and don’t care about the future generation. James Korobe, a resident of Kopedur Village says that they can allow their land to go through the hands of fraudulent means unless the right procedures are followed. They have tasked the CAO to take appropriate action against Nkobe and recruit a substantial lands officer.
But Lucy Lopuwa, the LC V councilor Namalu Sub County says that Nkobe cannot just be thrown out before the matter is investigated, saying that he could be part of a bigger clique to con money from investors using community land. Lopuwa said it is better to target the top officials because Nkobe could have been used.
Nakapiripirit district officials have not yet commented on the complaints raised by the residents. John Lorot, Nakapiripirit, LC V chairman told URN that he could not discuss the matter on phone but left the office after asking our reporter to meet him there.