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Bukedea District Leaders Cited in Amujeju Land Dispute

On May 4th, 2019, a group of people raided Amujeju village in Amujeju Parish in Kamtur Sub County and allegedly beat up residents, raped women, destroyed their crops and houses and evicted them from their homes.
Some of the evicted families of Amujaju Village.

Audio 4

A section of leaders in Bukedea District have been cited in the eviction of more than 1,000 people in AmujejuVillage, Kambarwa Sub-county.

There is a dispute between Kamutur and Kambarwa sub-counties on who owns the disputed land measuring more than 2000 acres in Amujeju village.  Various attempts by the district and the Lands Ministry to reconcile the two sub-counties for the past two and half years failed to yield results. 

On May 4th, 2019, a group of people raided Amujeju village in Amujeju Parish in Kamtur Sub County and allegedly beat up residents, raped women, destroyed their crops and houses and evicted them from their homes.   

According to the victims, those who attacked them were led by the Kamutur Sub-county LCIII Chairperson Jackson Ojekede and a UPDF soldier identified as Col. Michael Shimanya, a resident of the area.

Alfred Edeke, one of the affected residents says that before the attack, Ojekede and Col. Shimanya first visited the area and asked the residents to vacate the land. But the warning was not taken seriously.

But Edeke alleges that the attackers were working on the Bukedea Woman Member of Parliament, Anita Among.

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John Omongole, the Amujaju LC1 Chairman says even after alerting the Police about the attack, only eight officers commanded by the officer-in-charge Kolir Police Station, Julius Kasaija came to their rescue.

Omongole notes that the Kamutur community is being used by leaders to claim land in Amujeju.

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URN has seen a letter from the Uganda Investment Authority-UIA dated January 24th, 2020 introducing Hainan Qinfu Food Company Limited, a Chinese company dealing in fishing enterprise that specializes in tilapia aquaculture, production of fish feed, fish processing and marketing. The company was seeking to invest USD 450 million, approximately 1.6 Trillion Shillings to establish an aquaculture park in Bukedea. 

The information available indicates that although a meeting with the Finance Minister was scheduled for January 29th in Bukedea, it flopped when Bukedea County MP, John Bosco Ikojo raised the land dispute on the proposed site.

Amujaju land lies along the River Sironko belt that is said to have mineral deposits like uranium and others.

According to Alfred Edeke, the land dispute started in January 2014 when they allegedly admitted Sironko landslides survivor, Geoffrey Shimanya Nyotte. He explains that Simanya was seeking help to burn charcoal. Since the area was bushy with several trees, Edeke claims he reluctantly showed Shimanya a portion of land where he can cut trees and burn charcoal.

Edeke says that Shimanya invited his other relatives to the area and constructed more houses on the land. He adds that when he told Shimanya to leave, he was were dragged to court.

High Court ruling of September 9th, 2015 in Soroti asked the warring parties to remain in their respective areas until the main application is disposed of.

Shimanya, when contacted said that the land in question is his ancestral land. He explains that he left Amujeju in 1987 due to the rampant Karimojong raids and the insurgency in Teso for until 2005 when he returned to the area.

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Jackson Ojekede, the Kamutur LCIII Chairman also asserts that Shimanya and the group are the rightful occupants of the contested land.

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Last month, Alfred Edeke, John Omongole and 13 others dragged the Attorney General, Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola, Bukedea District Police Commander, Ezra Tugume, Michael Shimanya, Moses Bwayo, Kamutur LC3 Chairman Jackson Ojekede and Fred Ojepa to court over human rights abuses in Amujaju land eviction.

The case is still in court.