Army beats up Amuru locals to seize their land  

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Minister Amongi with locals in Amuru

The national army spent the better part of the weekend beating up and arresting residents in Amuru district who are protesting the forceful seizure of their land.

The most brutal incidents were recorded in Kololo parish Pabbo Sub-county, Amuru District where soldiers and policemen severely whipped residents on Sunday.

Many were forced to flee the scene while those who stayed to obstruct surveyors led by Lands minister, Betty Amongi, were badly beaten and arrested.

According to the Regional Police Commander, Bosco Otim, those arrested were involved in ugly episodes last week that saw women strip naked in front of the minister.

Government allocated 10,000 hectares of arable land for Madhvani Group to set up a sugarcane plantation and sugar factory.

Victoria University

 

Police, crime preventers and UPDF soldiers were deployed over the weekend to contain Amuru situation

At the start of the week, police officers occupied Payot Community School while crime preventers took over Kololo Primary School which they used as bases to launch attacks on residents.

Flanked by Uganda Police Force Director for Operations Asuman Mugenyi, Amongi claimed 101 residents had allowed government to survey their land starting Tuesday.

Last month, the government tabled before parliament the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017 with the main aim of amending Article 26 of the Constitution.

The proposed law has met still resistance from land owners, civil society, cultural leaders as well as Members of Parliament, both from the opposition and the ruling party.

Government intimidating MPs?

A legislator from Lango has accused the Government of using money and threats to silence those opposed to the proposed constitutional amendment to provide for compulsory land acquisition.

Felix Okot Ogong, the Dokolo South Member of Parliament and Chairman Lango Parliamentary Group, told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that several legislators from the region have reported to him that they are receiving threats from government machineries over their opposition to the proposed bill.

Ogong, a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM, said he himself has received such threats and intimidation warning him of dire consequences if he does not stop his move to mobilise the public against the proposed amendment.

He claims he was summoned at North Kyoga Regional police headquarters and interrogated for several hours for allegedly inciting the masses in Lango against accepting the proposal.

Ogong who owns Voice of Lango FM, a popular radio station in the region, claims that he also received calls from the Executive Director of Uganda Communications Commission – UCC, Godfrey Mutabazi, who threatened to close his radio station should they not stop discussing any issues concerning the bill.

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