LC III Chairman, Eight Others Arrested for Staging Demo

4379 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
Jimmy Awany, the LC III chairman of Adyel Division Council was arrested alongside eight others with whom they were protesting a move by Uganda Telecom Limited, a national fixed line, mobile and Internet service provider, to block the rehabilitation of three major roads in Lira town.

Jimmy Awany, the Chairman of Adyel Division Council in Lira Municipality has been arrested for staging a demonstration against Uganda Telecom Limited - UTL.

Awany was arrested alongside eight others with whom they were protesting a move by Uganda Telecom Limited, a national fixed line, mobile and Internet service provider, to block the rehabilitation of three major roads in Lira town.

The three roads were earmarked for rehabilitation under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructural Development Program - USMID. They include Lira Main Street commonly known as Obote Avenue, Kwania road and Soroti road which will be designed and expanded from single to dual carriageways with security and traffic lights.

However, UTL filed a suit before High Court in Lira seeking an injunction restraining the contractor from implementing the task on grounds that the project interferes with pipes carrying an underground network of copper cables as well as overhead fiber cables installed more than 30 years ago. The company is demanding compensation of 472 million Shillings as the cost for relocating their installations in areas where road works were planned.

The move angered residents some of whom took to the streets today, marching from the municipal council headquarters through Obote Avenue to UTL Offices along Soroti Road. They lit fire in the middle of the road while carrying placards denouncing UTL products.

They accused UTL of trying to sabotage development in Lira Municipality.

 
//Cue in: ''Today we are...
Cue out: ...a peaceful demonstration.''//
 
Police led by DPC Joel Tubanone pleaded with the demonstrators to identify ten of their leaders to negotiate with police and present their grievances in writing. They agreed and the ten were led to the office of District Internal Security Officer -DISO.

But, Lira Resident District Commissioner Robert Abak directed that the suspects be detained and questioned. One of the leaders escaped and the police only paraded nine persons to Lira Central Police Station where they are being detained.

The eight others are Alex Owera-a political activist, Businessman Adan Alengo, Denis Okwir Jarmogi-a medical officer, Francis Ogema Awany-the chairman Lira Municipal Development Forum, Jona Okot- a councilor, Juliet Abuba- the female councilor for Ayago and Bar Onger to Lira Municipal Council and one other identified only as Ocen.

 

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.