Lira High court has issued a temporarily injunction blocking the proposed forceful eviction of timber dealers by Lira Municipality from Bala road. Mohamed Kassaja, the acting Lira High court registrar issued the interim order on Friday evening following an application filed by the timber dealers. Last month, Lira Municipality issued an eviction notice to more than 100 timber dealers to vacate Bala road and relocate to Industrial area in Railways division.
However, the timber dealers opposed their planned eviction saying they were not consulted before the decision to evict them was reached. They also argued that the new site allocated to them by the authorities lacked basic requirements such as power, toilet and water. The dealers petitioned Lira High court for an interim order blocking their eviction until the municipality installs the missing facilities at the new site, which was granted on Friday.
The interim court order restrains Lira municipality, its agents or assignees from evicting the timber dealers or interfering with their business pending further decision of court. The timber dealers have welcomed the interim court order. Benjamin Okii, the chairperson Lira Timber dealers association says it was unfair for the authorities to plan to relocate them to hidden site which lack vital requirements for their work.
He says that relocating them to such a place is just as good as sending them back to the village. The issuance of the interim court order brings to an end the deployment of anti riot police at the contested area. Throughout last week, heavily armed anti riot police personnel were deployed at Bala road to block trucks from off loading timber in the area. The cops were deployed after Lira Municipality announced the forceful eviction of timber dealers. Lira Municipality has not yet reacted to the interim court order as none of the officials could be reached by our reporter.