Tororo Man Threatens to Eat Live Rats Again Over New District

7817 Views Tororo, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
A man in Tororo who in 2005 ate a live rat demanding for a creation of two new districts has threatened to do it again in renewal of his quest for the same.

A man in Tororo who ate a live rat demanding for a creation of two new districts in 2005 has threatened to do it again in renewal of his quest for the same.
Gerald Omaset, the former LC3 chairperson of Osukuru sub-county, surprised the country by eating a live rat in the presence of President Yoweri Museveni.
He has since remained an disappointed man after his fruitless efforts for the creation of Mukujju and Kisoko districts.
Omaset, a well-spoken, dark skinned man in his early 50s, lives a quiet life in Osukuru. His home is full of happy sounds of a dotting wife, children and their friends playing in the compound.
Omaset is generally mild mannered until he is asked about Tororo district. This is when he becomes very passionate. Omaset says he will not rest until the establishment of a new district.
He told Uganda Radio Network that he is ready to eat live rats again should President Museveni step foot in Tororo. He claims that government has taken side with the Japadhola and it is deliberately refusing to give them district status.
Omaset complains that despite several pleas, government has ignored them. He says that this time around if President Museveni appears in Tororo, he will with accomplices will eat as many live rats as possible to pump a sense of urgency into government over the matter.
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Omaset and other Itesot leaders claim that they have been marginalized by the Japadhola in what they claim is their own land. They argue that it is imperative that they are given their own district in order to ensure that vital public services are more accessible to all people in the Tororo.
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Omaset, who encouraged other Itesots to join hands in the fight for the district, insists that nothing will stop him from eating the live rats. He also dismisses earlier reports that he died after eating the rats in 2005. He says the report was just a concoction by those against their fights to discourage them.
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The controversy over the division of Tororo into two new districts attracted the attention of President Yoweri Museveni in August 2009 when he intervened and held meetings with leaders of the Iteso and Jophadhola to resolve the stalemate over the creation of the two districts.
The major sticking point in the division of Tororo district concerns where to place Tororo County. The Jophadhola, who largely populate Kisoko, say Tororo is their traditional heritage.
They argue that since the new Mukujju district will incorporate Malaba border town and other large trading centers in the district, Tororo County should be given to Kisoko.
The Iteso also lay claim to Tororo County, arguing that the large rock that overlooks the county is named after their ancestor.
President Museveni had suggested that Tororo could be turned into a city. That way Mukujju and Kisoko would be curved out its current boundaries.
But the Emorimor has since insisted that there is no question as to where Tororo County should be located because the boundaries were drawn up as early as 1947. He insists that President Museveni should prevail upon the Jophadhola to abide by the colonial boundaries and to give Tororo County to the Iteso.
Since then nothing has been resolved.


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.