Members of the Acholi Parliamentary Group have vowed to fight what they called irregular takeover of land in Amuru district by the Madhvani owned Kakira Sugar Works. The legislators claim that the sugar company is holding dishonest negotiations with cultural leaders in the district to acquire 40,000 hectares of land for sugarcane growing.
The legislators claim that the sugar company is holding dishonest negotiations with cultural leaders in the district to acquire 40,000 hectares of land for sugarcane growing.
The MPs including Betty Awol, the Gulu Woman MP, Aruu County MP Odonga Otto and their counterpart for Kilak South, Gilbert Oulanya, have also lashed out at the outgoing Gulu University Vice Chancellor Nyeko Pen Mogi for acting as a front for the Madhvani group.
They accuse Professor Pen Mogi of attempting to cheat locals out of ownership of their land by negotiating with traditional leaders for the purchase of customary land without consulting the individual owners of the land.
Oulanya asserts that cultural leaders have no mandate to negotiate land deals without the input of the individual occupants of the land.
//Cue in: "But in Acholi…
Cue out:…is very wrong."//
Otto states that they are not against awarding investors land and will welcome development initiatives in their area but criticises the Madhvani Group's approach in its attempt to acquire land in Amuru.
//Cue in: "So the approach…
Cue out:…acre of land."//
The fight over land in the region stems from a plan to establish the sugar project by M/S Amuru Sugar Works Ltd in which Madhvani Group is proposed to acquire 49% shareholding. The proposed project is to affect communities in the areas of Kololo, Lakang, Bana, Omee, Lujoro, Lwakobito and Pailyech.
Government through the Ministry of Lands also proposes that the rest of the land in these places shall be protected for the communities in Amuru Sub County under customary land tenure system.
But MP Oulanya says that this settlement stinks of corruption and it will not be accepted.