Lira Muslims Fight to Repossess Juba Market Land

3660 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
The land in question currently hosts Juba market in Central Division, Lira municipality. The vendors have occupied the land since 2009 when they were relocated from Lira main market to pave way for its construction.

The Muslim community in Lira district renews demands to repossess a five-acre piece of land currently used by Lira municipal council.

The land in question currently hosts Juba market in Central Division, Lira municipality. The vendors have occupied the land since 2009 when they were relocated from Lira main market to pave way for its construction.

Lira district Muslim land committee chairperson Juma Murungu says the land was given to Lango Muslim community in 1975 by the then President Idi Amin Dada. It is registered in the name of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.

In 2014, the Solicitor General confirmed that the land belongs to Lira district Muslim community and directed Lira Municipality council to hand it back to them. But Murungu says the authorities have refused to heed the directive.

"We allowed them to use the land temporarily to house their vendors and agreed that as soon as the market construction is complete, the land would be given back to us. We didn't even ask for a share of the daily revenue," Murungu said.

On July 25, Lira District Kadhi, Sheik Ishaaq Salim Nangoye wrote to Lira district land board reminding them to remove the vendors and handover the land back to Muslim community.

But Lira municipality Town Clerk Assy Abireebe says the matter is being handled.

This is the second time Lira Muslims are involved in a dispute over the same land. In 2008, the group battled 10 different traders in Lira town accusing them of encroaching on the same land.  The matter was resolved after negotiations with the accused traders.

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.