According to Kidega, the residents are accusing the pastoralists of entering their land illegally and grazing cattle in their gardens. He adds that a number of community members have been mistreated after complaining about the mayhem caused by the animals.
Authorities in Lamwo have issued a two-week ultimatum for all nomadic pastoralists to leave the district, or face forceful eviction. Lamwo Resident District Commissioner James Nabinson Kidega issued the directive after concerns by residents over the illegal entry of pastoralists in the sub-counties of Palabek Abera, Palabek Gem and Palabek Ogili.
to Kidega, the residents are accusing the pastoralists
of entering their land illegally and
grazing cattle in their gardens. He adds that a number of community members have been mistreated after complaining about the mayhem caused by the animals.
Kidega says the move to evict the pastoralists is also in line with a
presidential directive issued in 2018 following public outcry on the destruction of crops on the land where animals were being grazed, harassment
of indigenous communities and the reported involvement in grabbing land in
Kidega says the herdsmen now have up to May 12 to
peacefully leave the areas or else they will be evicted forcefully.
//Cue in; “Akwedo maber…
Cue out….mito bedo kwedgi.”//
Chris Ogen, a resident of Beogoya village in Anaka
parish, says locals have continuously complained about the pastoralists who have been seen ferrying animals on trucks into their area.
Ogen says that the pastoralists have been presenting agreements claiming to have hired the
land to graze their animals, whenever the residents demanded their
eviction. According to Ogen, the most invaded villages include
Pawich, Anaka South, Anaka and Beogoya and Aja-Ogaya in Anaka parish in Palabek
Gem Sub County.
Palabek Gem Sub County Chairperson Patrick Olal says the herdsmen who invaded
the area months ago have settled with close to over 2,000 animals in Anaka parish with more still coming in.
Olal says some landowners who hired their land to the
pastoralists are to blame for the invasion since they reached agreements
without the knowledge of the area leaders and clan heads.
According to Olal, the agreements indicate that the land
has been hired at between two and four million Shillings per year for a period
of over 5-years.
//Cue in; “coming to….
Cue out….myero wami.”//
The Palabek Ogili Sub County Chairperson
Christopher Omal says the pastoralists are migratory and always enter into his
area on a daily basis from the neighbouring villages of Okidi parish in Atiak Sub
County in Amuru district.
According to Omal, the herdsmen who are reported to be
armed have been grazing over 1,000 animals that have destroyed crops in the
villages of Apyeta West and Alali in Apyeta parish and Padwat West and Padwat
Northwest village in Padwat parish.
//Cue in; “iOgili gi bino…
Cue out…kelo atubatuba.”//
However one of the pastoralists who preferred speaking in
anonymity says they have in their possession agreements with the landlords and
warns to drag those behind the impending eviction to court since they have
documents that warrant them to stay in the area.