Residents of Apaa Township in Labala Parish, Amuru district have
petitioned the Electoral Commission over plans to close three polling stations.
The polling stations include Apaa Health Centre II, Apaa Primary School and
Apaa Market. They were created in 1980.
The petition was on Saturday presented to the Amuru District Registrar,
Gertrude Ajwang from Lacor Akurukwe Parish in Lamogi Sub County.
On Friday a team from the Electoral Commission led by, William Obote Ben the Labala
Parish electoral supervisor told the voters that their polling stations will be
closed and voters will in 2021 vote at nearby polling stations because Apaa is
in a wildlife reserve.
The new created polling stations include Opiro Junction in Labala Sub County,
Te-Olam in Layima Parish and Ocoo after Apaa Junction. These are about 10 kilometres
away from Apaa Township.
Moairan Abola, the lead petitioner says that the decision to close the polling
stations is a violation of their rights.
He added that all the new gazetted polling stations are far from their area
hence making accessibility difficult.
Fred Ojera another voter says the idea is unacceptable. He says that
instead more polling stations should be created in the area.
//Cue in: “am very upset…
Cue out: …more polling stations.”//
Gabriel P` Oyenga said they are likely to abandon voting in 2021 if the idea is
not reversed citing long distances to the new polling stations.
//Cue in: “they have transferred…
Cue out: …of polling stations.”//
Gertrude Ajwang, the Amuru district Registrar says that she will
forward the complaints to the Electoral Commission Headquarters.
According to records, there are 26,800 voters in Apaa.
Apaa Township is at the epicentre of violent conflict between Madi
tribes of Adumani and Acholi of Amuru districts were both claims ancestral
ownership since 2012.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is also claiming that Apaa is a wildlife
protected area. They have since 2012 threatened to evict residents from the
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc