Arua School Closed Over Land Dispute

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In short
Ewava primary school in Embeva village, Vurra Sub County, Arua district has been closed till further notice following a row over land with the neighboring community.

Ewava primary school in Vurra Sub County in Arua district has been closed following a land dispute with the neighboring community. Godfrey Odipio, the head teacher Ewava primary school says that he closed the school on Wednesday after some community members stormed the school and threatened to lynch teachers.
 
He says that more than 20 people stormed the school and started harassing teachers to leave the school. Odipio says that the group also uprooted the teacher’s crops and newly planted trees. He says despite the fact that the land dispute is before court; the community members have continued threatening the school administration.  
 
He accuses the community members of planting fetishes in the school to intimidate the teachers. Odipio says that the community accuses the school of grabbing their ancestral land, a charge he denies. He insists the land in question was donated to the school in the early 1960’s.  He says that following the raid on Wednesday, he decided to close the school after most of the teachers declined to continue teaching demanding to be transferred immediately.
 
Grace Enekuru, one of the teachers says their attackers destroyed her half acre cassava plantation when she was away for Sunday service. Enekuru says that she is not at peace at the school since last year, as the community members sometimes release their animals to graze in their crop gardens. She says that as teachers they have written a memorandum to the district education officer through the head teacher asking for immediate fearing for their lives.
 
Odipio, the school headmaster has requested Arua district authorities and other stake holders to intervene and resolve the matter saying if not resolved; the school will remain closed for the safety of his teachers. Natal Onyua, the area LC I chairperson has appealed for calm from the teachers, as he forwards the matter to the sub county authorities for appropriate action.
 
 Robert Endriaku, the inspector of schools in charge of Vurra County has condemned the attack on the school. He says that a meeting involving the warring parties will be convened soon, at Vurra sub county headquarters to resolve the dispute and open the school immediately. In the early 1990’s, a teacher was shot to death with an arrow at Ewava primary school over the land dispute.