Sunday July 20 2014

Government free to develop any area, says MP

By Julius Ocungi

Gulu- The MP for Persons with Disability in the North, Mr William Nokrach, has told locals in northern Uganda that government has authority to set development projects in any part of the country.

He was addressing the press at Acholi Inn this week regarding the ongoing dispute in Lakang village, Amuru Sub-county in Amuru District between the locals and government over the giveaway of 40,000 hectares of land to Madhvani Group for sugarcane plantation.

“Although the government can first consult the locals about the project it intends to roll out, it has authority to put up the development depending on its urgency and productivity,” Mr Nokrach said.

He said government does not have any intention of grabbing people’s land in Lakang village, but wants the sugarcane project to benefit the locals.

Last week, rowdy youth in Lakang mounted logs in the middle of the road to block Kilak County MP Gilbert Olanya from meeting the residents.
They suspected he wanted to incite the locals to reject the Madhvani investment.

In February this year, Acholi Parliamentary Group chairperson Reagan Okumu, asked the government to meet the land owners for negotiations instead of just telling them to surrender their land to Madhvani.

“We are not against development, but the manner in which it’s being brought should be streamlined,” Mr Okumu said then.