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Tension as RDC directs reopening of Oyam school

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By Hudson Apunyo

Posted  Thursday, July 24   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Closure. Wanglobo Primary School was closed on February 20 after its founder Charles Keny was murdered by residents over a land wrangle.

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Oyam.
Tension has erupted in Otwal Sub-county, Oyam District following the directive by the Resident District Commissioner, Ms Julian Akullu to open Wanglobo Primary School which was closed four months ago following the murder of its founder.
Wanglobo Primary School was closed on February 20 after Charles Keny was murdered by residents over a land wrangle.

Keny a UPDF veteran, was lynched and his body burnt by a group of parents allegedly mobilised by the school management over land dispute.
His home was also set ablaze. Keny founded the school on his land in 1979, before he joined the army in 1983. The school was taken over by government when he joined the army.
However, after retiring, he proposed that he be given part of the school’s land, a proposal, which some leaders protested.

This reportedly prompted Keny to seek court redress and by the time he was lynched, the matter was still before court.

In a July 10 meeting, Ms Akullu, directed that the school be reopened, saying: “It’s obvious that the school must be reopened as other matters are pursued. I see no reason to its closure.”
However, Mr Christopher Okwir, a brother of the deceased, said the opening of the school before the land wrangle was resolved would lead to more violence.

“We want to be assured of justice before the school can be reopened. All suspects in the murder should be arrested and prosecuted,” Mr Okwir said.
He accused the police and Oyam leaders of siding with the suspects, an allegation they both denied.
Eleven suspects have so far been remanded to Oyam Prison while the headmaster, chairperson Parents Teachers Association, School Management Committee, and area LC1 chairperson are still on the run.
A follow up meeting is scheduled to take place at the school today.

Compensation demands
The Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of homicide, Mr Mark Odong, said the commissioner of Lands Protection Unit visited the school and agreed to write to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education notifying him how the school can not open until the family that owns the land is compensated.

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