They are accused of inciting a mob that raided Tororo Girl's school and looted property.
Tororo police are holding three people including John Okitkwi, the LC III chairperson Eastern Division in Tororo Municipality for alleged theft, inciting violence and criminal trespass. The other suspects are Stephen Ayet Ofwono, the LC3 Amagoro South A south ward councilor and Joseph Obwin, a clerk in Tororo Chief Magistrate's court.
The trio was picked up in connection with a scuffle at Tororo Girl's secondary school on Tuesday morning. They are accused of inciting a mob that raided Tororo Girl's school and looted property. Robert Katuramu, the Tororo District Police Commander says the suspects organized a mob that raided the school demanding for 20 acres of land, which they claim was donated by their ancestors over 30 years ago.
He says the attackers were armed with machetes, which forced the school administration to notify police. Katuramu says during the raid, the suspects looted seven bags of cement, two wheelbarrows and bicycles from builders deployed to construct the school perimeter wall. He says the suspects will face charges of criminal trespass and theft irrespective of their positions in the area.
According to Katuramu, last year four families neighboring the school lodged a complaint in the office of the Resident District Commissioner claiming that the school had encroached on their ancestral land and have been struggling to reclaim it.
He explains that both parties presented their documents to the former RDC Kyeyune Damulira but after thorough scrutiny, it was found that, the land genuinely belongs to Tororo Girl's School. It was also discovered that those who donated the land were compensated and there was no reason why the school should be stopped from fencing off the land.
Ddamulira reportedly advised the aggrieved parties to go court, something the complainants have ignored. Helen Wataba, the head teacher Tororo Girl's School says the claimants are not genuine donors of the land adding that, their records show that the owners of the land were all compensated by the school in 1983 and since then none of them has ever complained.
She says the dispute has impacted negatively on the school development program as the administration continues wasting valuable time to handle the dispute. Katuramu says police will not stop the school from constructing the perimeter wall since there is no court injunction. He says police will maintain presence at the school for as long as there is misunderstanding over the land.
However, the suspects who are currently in custody at Tororo Central Police Station have vowed not to relent on their demands until they are compensated. Okwitwi insists that the disputed land was donated by their ancestral parents to the school on temporary basis and that it was agreed that the school would take full ownership of the land on mutual understanding.
He says it is unfortunate that the donors died before they could enter into a mutual understanding with the school.