Apac Voters Ask Tumukunde for Return of Maruzi Ranch

The ranch measuring approximately 64 square kilometres has been handed to an investor for Palm Oil growing, with residents being told to remove their cattle from the land.
Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde entering Lira town

Audio 3

Farmers in Akokoro Sub-County of Apac District have said they expect Gen. Henry Tumukunde to return Maruzi Ranch to them if he becomes president.

The farmers were meeting Gen. Tumukunde at a campaign meeting in Awila Parish during his campaign tour of Lango on Friday.

The ranch which is located in Akokoro Sub County, Apac district measures approximately some 64 square kms.

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 from the early 1990s up to 2000.

Residents last year objected to a recommendation by President Yoweri Museveni that 54 square kms of the ranch be allocated to Hill Side Agriculture Ltd for Palm Oil growing and production leaving 10 square miles for the locals.

However during the meeting with Gen. Tumukunde, a farmer  Emmanuel Ogolo lamented that they have not even received the 10 square miles that they were promised in the Ranch.

He says that they are being harassed to remove their animals from the ranch and yet they have nowhere to go.

//Cue in: “I was asking……………..”

Cue out: …………………keep it.”//

Another farmer says the government has awarded land to outsiders instead of making sure that the locals of Akokoro Sub-county benefit from the land.

//Cue in: “The only thing………….”

Cue out: “…………..want that.”//

Gen. Tumukunde told the residents not to just demand for 10 sq kms but to claim the entire 60 square kms that the ranch covers.

He said that the farmers have a right to demand for their lost cattle and the entire expanse of the ranch in order to develop their region.

//Cue in: “Why do you………….”

Cue out: “…………….ask for.”//  

Images 1