Leaders call for boundary opening of factory land

Workers feed fuel into a furnace at Atiak Sugar Factory in May 2021. PHOTO/ TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINY  

Authorities in Amuru District have called for fresh boundary opening of land belonging to Atiak Sugar Works Ltd following increasing cases of wrangles with the community.

Atiak sugar factory sits on 27,000 acres of land in Atiak Sub- County, which was leased by the family of John Omaya to Horyal Investment Ltd.

Mr Akera Samuel, the Atiak Sub- County chairperson, in an interview on Tuesday said the community members have been living in fear that their land might in future be encroached on by the factory on its expansion drive.

“People do not know where the factory land ends and that is what is causing a lot of fear in the community, but the same factory is accused of encroaching on the community estates,” Mr Akera explained.

“Sale of land has become so rampant among communities neighbouring the factory. Some people are selling their land because they assume it might belong to the factory,” he added.

Mr Michael Lakony, the district chairperson, also said opening up of the boundaries will clear any speculation about land grabbing.

“We want this done so that no one is affected, our people now depend on land alone to survive,” Mr Lakony said.

However, Mr Stephen Odong Latek, the resident district commissioner, says they are waiting for the court to rule on the matter before they can implement any orders.

“The matter is in the High Court in Gulu; once the case is concluded, we will come in to enforce or implement the orders of court,” Mr Odong said.”

In a suit filed at Gulu High, Mr Peter Okee Ogik and Mr Bosco Opio Ogik, members of a family on whose land Atiak Sugar Factory is located, sued Horyal Investment Ltd, accusing the latter of trespass and encroachment.

In the August 15 suit, the duo also sued the Commissioner Land Registration together with Mr Okot Akena Ogik, Mr Emmanuel Ogik, Mr Michael Onono, and Ms Lucy Aketto Ogik.

In their suit, Mr Okee and Opio accused their step-brothers Okot Akena, Onono, Ogik and their step-sister Ms Aketto of connivance and irregularly leasing out the family land to Horyal Investments Holding Company Limited without their consent.