The State House Lands Unit has stopped a UPDF soldier from evicting over 200 residents from a 5,000-acre piece of land in Nwoya district.
The residents of Lebngec Parish in Lungulu Sub County led by Prof. Ogenga Otunu, a brother to Dr. Olara Otunnu, the former UPC party president, had petitioned the State House, accusing Capt. Emmanuel Lukechi Luger of constantly harassing and intimidating them, claiming that the land belongs to him and he was to evict them.
In their February 21 letter, the residents said the soldier did not show proof of ownership of the land but had gone ahead to fence it off.
They added that during the process, some people were beaten up by soldiers and when they went to police, they received no help.
Last Thursday, Mr Edward Ocheing Sunday, the Assistant Presidential Private Secretary on land matters, met with the residents and the UPDF soldier to listen to their concerns.
He then directed Capt Luger to desist from expelling the people on the land and advised those already evicted to re-occupy their land as government continues to investigate the case to find an amicable solution.
Prof. Ogenga Otunu also revealed they have lost 800 hectares that belonged to their late father Dr. Yusto Otunnu, to the UPDF officer.
According to the aggrieved residents, Capt Luger, a UPDF political commissar attached to the 3rd Division Barracks in Moroto district had earlier evicted the residents from the public land which they people occupied in mid-2000, shortly after the phase out of the Internally Displaced People’s – IDP camps.
Some of the residents notably, Justin Odongkara, Simon Tekkwo, and Amos Okello also claimed that were beaten up by the soldiers.
The matter was reported to police in Nwoya, the RDC and UPDF 4th Division Commander but no justice was dispensed.