Women were right to strip, says MP Okumu

Friday April 24 2015

By JAMES OWICH

GULU- The chairperson of Acholi Parliamentary Group has justified the demonstration by Acholi women who stripped in a protest against what they claimed was an attempt by government to grab their land.

Mr Reagan Okumu, the Aswa County MP, said those condemning the women’s action should stop it.

“Whoever is criticising the women for stripping should put themselves in the shoes of the individuals who were on the verge of losing the only valuable asset that they own in the hands of uncaring government agents,” Mr Okumu told journalists at his office in Gulu Town on Tuesday.

On April 16, women undressed before ministers Daudi Migereko (Lands) and Aronda Nyakairima (Internal Affairs), protesting demarcation of a 40-square kilometre piece of land in Apaa, on the border between Amuru and Adjumani districts. The land is claimed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and area residents.
While Acholi Paramount Chief David Onen Acana II said the stripping was an embarrassment, some Acholi have challenged him, saying the action is part of their culture.

However, Mr Okumu said the women had two options to protect their land; either to commit suicide or to walk naked, and they chose the latter.

He said the action by Apaa residents should be an eye opener to government and individuals who have vested interest in the land in Acholi sub-region for investment.

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