Lands minister Betty Amongi has vowed to survey the contentious Lakang and Kololo land in Amuru where a sugar factory is planned for construction despite the Thursday evening protest that saw women staging a nude protest also resulting into a chaotic scene that left 3 injured and several others arrested including Aruu county MP Odonga Otto.
Half naked women and angry residents mounted a road block and stopped Minister Amongi from surveying the contentious land which measures about 10,000 hectares. It is believed that the protesters were mobilized by local leaders, mainly legislators.
Chaos broke out, police fired teargas and live bullets to disperse the angry crowd who were shouting, telling the minister to leave Acholi land and go back to Lango. Meanwhile, Minister Amongi earlier said over 100 owners of the land had agreed for the establishment of the sugar factory.
Amongi also blamed the local leaders for the scuffle. She said it was the protesters who turned violent and caused harm adding that the Aruu county MP Odonga Otto drew a pistol at them. “The violence that we met yesterday(Thursday) was not by the government, the violence that brought was by the members of parliament including Odonga Otto who drew a pistol… ” Amongi said.
Meanwhile, Acholi members of parliament yesterday issued a joint media statement denying inciting violence, a charge that Odonga Otto is currently facing.
Speaking at Northern Uganda Media centre in Gulu district, Odonga Otto said minister Amongi is being used by the government to grab her people’s land.
“Amongi is being used like a political condom and she is a shame to the people of northern Uganda” Otto Odonga said.
He also dared the army: “I warn the army that if they insist on using force we shall rise up to defend our land which we consider as our property which the constitution allows us to defend.”
The Acholi legislators also said whatever Amongi is doing, Lango won’t be blamed for it adding that she does not represent the whole tribe. They urged the two tribes to continue doing business between themselves as normal.