Residents Sue Govt Over Karamojong Herdsmen

1899 Views Otuke, Uganda

In short
Recently, the Presidency Minister directed security agencies in Lango sub region to ensure the Karamojong herdsmen are protected from any aggression by the complainants.

More than 170 residents of Alebtong and Otuke districts have sued government for alleged failure to protect their lives and properties from Karamojong herdsmen.
The petitioners are led by George Mawa, the former Lira Municipality Mayoral candidates. They have lined up five advocates including Innocent Omara of Omara and Company Advocates, Adam Makmot Kibwanga of Makmot Kibwanga and Company advocates to represent them in the suit before Lira High court.
In their suit filed by Innocent Omara of Omara and Company Advocates, the petitioners say that recently thousands of the Karamojong herdsmen crossed into Alebtong and Otuke districts with the approval and consent of government through law enforcement officers and settled on their land.

 They claim the herdsmen have destroyed several crop gardens putting their land to waste. They also claim to have lost thousands of livestock and other valuable property to the marauding herdsmen. The petitioners claim that on previous occasions they lost a number of animals to the Karamojong herdsmen.
They argue that despite government promises to compensate them for the losses and destruction, it hasn't yielded fruits. They claim that following the recent invasion by the herdsmen, they held several meetings with the local authorities, cultural and political leaders and asked them to leave but they have remained adamant.
They said as a result, they have suffered injury, stress, trauma and inconveniences for which they now seek compensations in terms of special and general damages of more than Shillings 6 billion including costs of the suit.

On top of this, they have also given government up to 45 days to ensure the Karamojong herdsmen vacate their land. George Mawa, the leader of the plaintiffs wonders why government has continued to support the Karamojong stay in Lango.

Luo Bite

//Cue in: ''Bedo me keckom...
Cue out: …any concerns.''//

The office of the Attorney General has acknowledged the receipt of the suit. Court is yet to summon the Attorney General to respond to the suit. Recently, the Presidency Minister directed security agencies in Lango sub region to ensure the Karamojong herdsmen are protected from any aggression by the complainants. 

Members of Parliament and leaders from Lango have come out openly to condemn government for supporting the herdsmen.


About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.