The Commission of Inquiry investigating land matters has given Mr Peter Amodoi two weeks to sit with the elders of Ngoleriet parish in Napak District whose land he sold to Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and solve the matter amicably.
Mr Amodoi, a Program Officer attached to the Office of the Prime Minister in Karamoja sold the land to UIA at Shs623m.
“You are going to sit with those people and resolve this issue, if you do not then we will be forced to do other things including order for the cancellation of the title,” the Commission Chairperson, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire announced during a hearing attended by desperate elders from Bokora and Nadunget sub-counties.
Justice Bamugemereire questioned Mr Amodoi’s credentials as a peace builder in the transaction after hearing that Mr Amodoi bought the land from elders of Nadunget Sub County instead of elders from Ngoleriet Sub County.
Mr Amodoi bought the land at Shs45m and later sold it at Shs623m to UIA to set up the Karamoja Industrial business park in Kautakou village, Ngoleriet parish in Bokora Sub-County in Napak District.
The commission heard that the development had deprived 2,000 people of their source of livelihood including gardens and grazing land.
Mr Amodoi was told to hold meetings with elders who were in Kampala and even on the ground in Ngoleriet.
The commission refused to buy Mr Amodoi’s reasoning that the land was a cattle rustling corridor where women would be raped while going to fetch firewood.
The commission maintained that Mr Amodoi bought the land from the wrong people and that his actions had caused animosity between the people of the two sub-counties.
The Commission also heard that Mr Amodoi had not done due diligence to establish the true owners of the land in Kautakou village.
Following the purchase, Ms Faith Nakut Loru, a Finance Program Officer of Sight Savers Uganda, together with clan elders from Kautakou village, petitioned the commission investigating land matters accusing UIA of illegally acquiring their customary land.
According to Ms Loru, Mr Amodoi took advantage of the absence of the residents caused by the insurgence in the area and the disarmament program between 2008 and 2010 to sell off their land.
Ms Loru wants the UIA title cancelled, so that the community gets their gardens and grazing land back. The UIA title reads Loputiput but the actual land is in Kautakou
While appearing before the commission on Tuesday, the Director General UIA, Mr Lawrence Byensi confirmed the purchase had been done without involving the community.
Justice Bamugemereire, told Mr Byensi that they were dealing with an illegal title that residents were contesting.