Muni University Embroiled in Land Row with Residents

Comments 1759 Views Arua, Uganda

In short
A row has broken out between residents of Madi-Okollo Sub County and the newly established Muni University over 6000 acres of land.

A row has broken out between residents of Madi-Okollo Sub County and the newly established Muni University over 6000 acres of land. Initially, residents donated the land in question to the University hoping that it would set up its main campus on the land to create employment for them.

However, residents were shocked to learn that the university administration had decided to set up its main campus in Ayivu County. Led by David Agbara, Madi Okollo sub county LC3 chairman the residents says that they gave their land hoping that the university would construct its main campus and administration block on it.
Agbara says that as a result of the changes, the residents want part of the land they had donated returned to them for farming as it had been agreed on earlier. He explains that some of the residents who signed agreements handing over the land to the university on behalf of the community have resolved to reverse their decision. He also argues that the name chosen for the university is an insult to them since Muni is found in Ayivu. 

Samuel Oluma, one of the residents said that during their consultations they resolved the university be referred to as West Nile University and wonders how the name was changed. Recently, residents stopped surveyors who had been hired by the university from surveying the land. On Thursday, Prof. Christine Dranzoa, vice chancellor of Muni university met with the residents to resolve the stand off.

Dranzoa pleaded with the residents to review the agreements under which they donated the land to the university. She says that the future of the children in the area will be determined by the decision their parents take now. However, only eight of the 49 members who signed the land agreements have signed the revised documents withdrawing the land. Muni university that is expected to open for its first academic year in February is the first public university in the region.


About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.