Fifty two people from 11 households in Apuuton village, Arapai Sub County have dragged Soroti University to court for eviction from their land. The affected people were evicted from a disputed piece of land following a High court order issued by Justice David Batema on August 15, 2017.
Justice Batema ordered the affected people to vacate the disputed land, saying they were squatters on the university land. Through their lawyer, Richard Omongole of Omongole Company Advocate, the petitioners want the university to compensate them for the property they lost during their eviction.
They have appealed against the eviction order, saying it was unfair. Augustine Erimu, the chairperson of the affected people, says they must be compensated for lost property. He says most of the evicted people are still stranded as they have nowhere to settle while others are being hosted by their relatives.
Gerisemu Ewotu, a representative of the affected people, says they were never given a fair hearing by the court. He wonders why court didn't consider their property that was on the disputed land.
Jumah Hassan Nyene, the Soroti University spokesperson, says they are unable to compensate the evicted families.
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The case between the residents and Soroti University will come up before Justice David Batema on October 17th 2017. Trouble between the residents stems from the donation of more than 460 acres of land to Soroti University by Teso College Aloet.
Residents accuse the university annexing land in the neighboring villages measuring 110 acres to the chunk that was originally donated. Four of the families had opted for an out of court settlement with the university.
Prior to the court order, a boundary opening exercise directed by the Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Betty Amongi found the 11 families were inside the university land.