MP Akena booed during debate on land amendment bill

Mr Akena during the meeting. Photo by Bill Oketch

LIRA- Lira Municipality Member of Parliament Jimmy Akena Obote was on Monday heckled and booed at the Uganda Technical College, Lira Town, as Lango Parliamentary Group sought people’s views on the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017.

The government recently introduced a proposal to amend Article 26 of the 1995 Constitution to facilitate government acquire land without being delayed by compensation bureaucracy.

The amendment proposes:  “Where the owner of property or any person having interest in or right over property objects to the compensation awarded under the law made under clause (2)(b), the Government or Local Government shall deposit with court for the property owner or any person having an interest in or right over the property, the compensation awarded for the property, and the Government or Local Government shall take possession of the property pending determination by the court of any dispute relating to compensation.”

As Mr Akena was trying to explain the merits of the amendment, hundreds of people who felt the area legislator was not making sense in his presentation shouted him down.

“If we do not want to listen, I can sit down. I will sit but you give me this one minute…If you ignore [to understand] what is existing, you are not going to help yourselves,” Mr Akena said.

 The former Otuke District councillor, Ms Dina Bua, said it was “useless” to give Mr Akena more opportunity to talk about land matters.

Mr Akena said: “I have heard somebody saying that this law is not relevant. This is the law of the land today.”

The land amendment bill is being marketed by Mr Akena’s wife, Ms Betty Amongi, the Lands, Housing and Urban Development minister.

Mr Akena is a son of Milton Obote, whose regime was toppled by his army commanders who were subsequently overthrown by President Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army.

This is the first time in the  history of Lango politics history that Mr Akena is being subjected to anguish, embarrassment and humiliation by the same people of Lango, who often refered to him as a tin kic (an orphan).