Karimojong protest land grabbing

Tuesday December 16 2014

Karimojong children and their mothers protest

Karimojong children and their mothers protest against land grabbing recently. Observers argue governments wants to amend the law in order to take land from citizens easily. File photo. 

By Steven Ariong

Napak

Transport along Moroto-Soroti highway was last week interrupted for hours after residents of Kautakow village in Ngoleriet Sub-county, Napak District staged a peaceful protest over alleged land grabbing.

The residents were protesting against alleged massive land grabbing including 10acres that Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has taken over.

Residents who marched with placards reading: “We didn’t know that you were removing our guns to grab our land” accused some of the educated Karimojong saying they sell the land to investors without consulting residents. “Land in Karamoja is communal. If anybody wants to buy it, they must consult elders but not grab it,” Mr John Lokol, a resident, said last Thursday.

The residents claim Mr Peter Amodoi, the acting commissioner for Karamoja in the Office of the Prime Minister, for selling land to investors without consulting the community.
However, Mr Amodoi said UIA has no case adding that they bought land from the rightful owner who had also bought it from land owners.

“Those who are protesting have no attachment to that land because I bought it from the right owners and I have evidence,” Mr Amodoi said.

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Ms Sarah Loukai, a mother of seven children, said she does not know where to shift her family to since UIA has already started fencing the land on which she resides.

“We woke up in the morning ready to go to the garden only to see surveyors on our lands while heavily guarded by soldiers. When we tried to ask they abused us and told us to get where to move to,” she said.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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