Museveni’s endorsement stemmed from series of consultations with Lango Parliamentary Group, Parliament committee on agriculture, animal industry and fisheries, and Lands Ministry among others. In his recommendations, President Museveni argued that such a huge project can only be best done on government land.
The copy of the reccoemndation on Maruzi Ranch proposed allocation
The allocation of Maruzi ranch to a private investor for Palm Oil
growing and production has drawn mixed reactions among Lango leaders.
The ranch located in Akokoro Sub County, Apac district measures approximately
some 64 square miles.
It had previously been occupied by some 40,000 families mainly former
Internally Displaced Persons from East Lango districts of Otuke, Alebtong, and
Lira who had fled LRA rebels’ insurgency in early 1990s and later 2000.
President Museveni then endorsed the proposed allocation of 54 square miles to
Hill Side Agriculture Ltd for Palm Oil growing and production.
Museveni’s endorsement stemmed from series of consultations with Lango
Parliamentary Group, Parliament committee on agriculture, animal industry and fisheries,
and Lands Ministry among others.
In his recommendations, President Museveni argued that such a huge project can
only be best done on government land.
He adds that allocating part of Maruzi ranch land for investment shall prominently
boost economic growth by and reduce unemployment.
The allocation has since split Lango leaders with some directly accusing Lands
Minister Betty Amongi of failing to guide the government on the matter.
David Ebong Abongo, former Maruzi County Member of Parliament and chairperson
of a pressure group named “Save Maruzi Ranch” faulted Apac district local
council for failing to follow legal procedures adding that the Presidential
recommendations are contrary to Parliamentary resolutions.
Maxwell Akora, the area MP (UPC) backed the decision to allocate
the land saying it will directly trigger investment that can benefit his local
Akora argued that currently there are uncontrollably criminal
activities in the ranch therefore leaving it redundant shall continue to brew
criminal activities in the area.
Tony Ayo, Kwania County Member of Parliament is among those not convinced about
how the project shall change the livelihood of local people.
Ayo who had previously petitioned Parliament over the proposed
allocation said he is still sceptical about the viability of the project since
it will require irrigation.
But Bob Okae, the Apac LCV Chairperson said they followed all the required
procedures since the land belongs to Central Government.
Okae is equally convinced that allocating Maruzi ranch land for investment
shall improve the livelihoods of local people.
Early this year, UPDF soldiers and Police launched forceful eviction of local
residents occupying part of the ranch.