Saturday February 15 2014

Catechist, Christians order man to leave ‘church land’


Gulu- A land wrangle in Odek Sub-county, Gulu District, turned ugly recently when a catechist and several Christians reportedly stormed the home of a resident and ordered him to leave.

Mr Okwero Jok, a catechist at Awere Chapel in Odek Sub-county and several other Christians, who were allegedly armed with axes, hoes and machetes, reportedly stormed the home of Mr Canon Latim and ordered him to leave, saying the land on which his house is located belongs to the church.

However, Mr Latim, a resident of Awere Village, said: “It is my ancestral land. I have lived here with my family over the years. I know the plans to evict me from this land are being orchestrated by the diocese,” Mr Latim said. “They should exhibit tolerance. Sponsoring violence will not give them land,” he added.

Northern Uganda Diocesan secretary, the Rev Patrick Lumumba, confirmed the conflict but denied the church’s involvement in plans to evict Mr Latim from the land.

“We have no intention to grab anybody’s land, but what I know is that the church also owns a big land in that area. We shall sit and investigate the matter cordially,” the Rev Lumumba said.

The officer in charge of Odek Police Post, Mr David Ozaacol, said Mr Okwero and three others were being investigated for alleged criminal trespass and threatening violence.

“After the investigation, they will be taken to court,” Mr Ozaacol said.
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Okwero were futile by press time.