Acholi Leaders Plot to block Amuru Land Survey

2392 Views Amuru, Ethiopia

In short
The move follows a series of correspondences between the Attorney General Peter Nyombi and Lands Minister Daudi Migereko instructing that the land in Lakang, Bana and Kololo villages in Amuru be Surveyed. Nyombi also advised that the occupants of the same be established and their properties recorded and valued to pave way for the project.

Acholi sub region leaders are determined to block the planned survey of the over 40,000 hectares of land in Amuru District that the Government intends to give to Madvhani Group for sugarcane growing.

The move follows a series of correspondences between the Attorney General Peter Nyombi and Lands Minister Daudi Migereko instructing that the land in Lakang, Bana and Kololo villages in Amuru be Surveyed. Nyombi also advised that the occupants of the same be established and their properties recorded and valued to pave way for the project.

However, leaders in Acholi sub region fault government for failing to listen to the grievances of the people in regard to the land in question. 

Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak County Member of Parliament says that initially they agreed with the Attorney General that all investors should negotiate with the locals and not through the Government. Olanya argues that the earmarked land is customarily owned by the people in Amuru and as such, should not be treated as public land.

"We agreed that the land ownership nbe brought back to the people because this land has always been occupied, and the people have lived on it for years. They were forcefully moved during the war. Both government and Amuru should get back to court with an agreement that states that the land is not public."

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However, Migereko told Uganda Radio Network that he intends to hold talks with Olanya and other leaders on the matter of the land in Amuru.

Lucy Akello the Amuru woman MP says that in a recent meeting with the lands minister Migereko, leaders from Acholi advised that the process be halted in order to avert a possible crisis in the region. She said that the survey cannot start amidst growing dissatisfaction from the residents.

In February 2012, the Gulu High Court ruled that over 40,000 hectares of land be given to Madvhani Group of companies to grow sugarcane. Justice William Musene in his ruling them said that there is evidence that the land in question is much needed for development. The ruling added that when the disputed land was visited, the High Court found it bushy with no settlement.

The ruling was challenged by the land owners.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.