Nwoya chairman At War with UPDF Over Disputed Land

Children at the newly established detach at the disputed land in Alingiri village. In the background are two soldiers(Photo by Denis Omony)

Nwoya district chairman Patrick Okello Oryema has given the UPDF a 14 day ultimatum to leave a disputed piece of land in Alingiri village in Nyamukino parish, Lungulu Sub County in Nwoya district.

The disputed land is about 2,000 acres with over 100 households who are in conflict with Opiyo Oloya, a Uganda based in Toronto, Canada.

David Ojok the LCI of Alingiri said in an interview with Acholi Times that the soldiers were deployed in the contested land on 23 March 2017 and have since been intimidating and causing fear among locals, an allegation denied by the army.

‘‘Our soldiers are the most disciplined people. The intimidation allegation is not true,’’ said the 4 Infantry Division Spokesman, Lt Ahmad Hassan Kato.

The land in dispute reportedly belongs to the family of Dr Opiyo Oloya, a Ugandan educationist and writer based in Canada.  Mr Oloya is originally from Nwoya district. The land in question, due to a lack of occupation, is thought to have attracted squatters who are now up in arms with Dr Oloya.

The deployment of the UPDF in the area has been interpreted by locals as an attempt by  Oloya to claim the land.  Oloya is known to have close contacts with powerful individuals in government and the army.

However, Patrick Okello Oryema, has said the UPDF should leave the contested land within 14 days.

“If it’s a normal deployment then the UPDF has to be relocated to another area which is free of conflict. But should they (UPDF) resist our demand then we shall group them as being behind the land conflict,’’ Oryema told Acholi Times.

Lt Ahmad Hassan Kato, the 4 Infantry Division Spokesman however said the army is not involved in the land conflict.

‘‘Dr Opiyo temporarily gave the UPDF land on which we can set up a detach to oversee the security in the area, alongside the police in Nwoya district,’’ Lt Kato said in an interview with Acholi Times on Thursday. Asked what the ‘‘temporary’’ period of time Oloya gave to the UPDF,   Kato said he was unaware.