72 Residents Still Sleep in the Cold

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In short
Mathew Opwonya Labresse, the Laguri Village LC1 Chairperson says residents lost household property, food stuff, livestock and colossal sums of money during the eviction exercise.

72 people in Lamwo district are still homeless a week after they were evicted from their homes.  The affected people are members of thirteen households evicted from Laguri village in Ywaya Parish in Padibe West Sub County on orders of Kitgum Grade I magistrate.
 
It came after the magistrate’s court ruled in favor of Justine Akena who was contesting the land ownership with Richard Omona and five others. Mathew Akiya Ochen, the Lamwo LC V Chairperson says the eviction was carried out by a court Bailiff identified as John Guma Okoth.
 
He faults Okot’s Company for flouting eviction procedures.

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Mathew Opwonya Labresse, the Laguri Village LC1 Chairperson says residents lost household property, food stuff, livestock and colossal sums of money during the eviction exercise. Opwonya says the residents were neither notified of the eviction nor given time to relocate. He says they were shocked to receive a court bailiff accompanied by men wielding axes, machetes, hammers and hoes.
 
Susan Alobo, one of the affected residents told Uganda Radio Network from the scene that the bailiff ordered them to vacate or face forceful eviction within few hours of their arrival. She says the bailiffs descended on their huts and other properties mercilessly. Grace Arach, a trader in the area says she lost her merchandise, a grinding mill and four million shillings in a fire set by the bailiffs.
 
She says the bailiff succeeded in damaging so many properties because they found houses securely locked as people worked in their gardens.


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The homeless people want government to intervene in the land matter after rescuing them from the cold. Akiya Ochen, the Lamwo LC V Chairperson faults Police for getting involved in the eviction of residents.

He has promised to send members of the district disaster management committee to the area to assess the situation of the stranded residents. He however says the district is cash strapped to respond to the disaster and will notify the Office of the Prime Minister to respond accordingly.

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Ahmed Seguya Kimera, the Lamwo District Police Commander says the eviction was carried out as the residents were still being prepared for it. He says his office was informed about the eviction and was still sensitizing the community when the Court Bailiff showed up.

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He denies allegations that police were involved in the eviction exercise saying he haslaunched investigations into the manner in which the eviction was executed.