Amuru youth charge at MPs over land giveaway

Monday May 6 2013

By Cissy Makumbi, Moses Akena& Sam Lawino

Amuru/GULU

You touch Amuru land, you rub the residents the wrong way. District Woman MP Betty Bigombe, Kilak County’s Gilbert Olanya and Northern MP for People With Disabilities William Nokorach can attest to this.

The trio survived lynching at the weekend when youth armed with bows and arrows waylaid them at Lakang Parish while they returned from Kololo Sub-county. Ms Bigombe’s body guard shot in the air to disperse the residents. Shaken Bigombe pleaded with the youth to remain calm. “I don’t want any bloodshed, if you have issues, let us solve them amicably,” she said.

The three together with former MPs Michael Ocula, David Ocheng and lawyers from Okello Oryem and Company Advocates had travelled to consult people over the disputed land that the Madhvani Group of Companies wants for sugarcane growing.

The meeting resolved that whoever wants to invest in the land should first consult the residents.
There was also drama at the meeting when Mr Olanya displayed Shs500,000 that he claimed had been offered to him as an inducement from State House. “I am warning you to leave me out of this dubious budget that State House makes,” he said, attracting protest from Mr Nokrach who dismissed the allegation.

Madhvani cautioned
Meanwhile, the chairperson of Acholi Parliamentary Group, Mr Reagan Okumu, has cautioned the Madhvani Group of Companies for using ‘middlemen’ in an attempt to get land in the region. The Aswa County MP told journalists: “Back doors in acquiring land are unacceptable and if Madhvani fails to partner with land owners, the initiative might hit a snag.” The government has proposed that 40,000 hectares of land in Lakanga be given for sugarcane plantation.

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