Leaders held in land row

Police in Tororo have arrested the LC3 chairperson of Eastern Division of Tororo Municipality, Mr John Okitwi in connection with criminal trespass and theft at Tororo Girls’ School in the district.

Mr Okitwi and two others Stephen Ayet Ofwono, the LC3 councillor for Amagoro ‘A’ south and Mr Joseph Obwin, a court clerk at Tororo Chief Magistrate’s Court, were arrested on Tuesday morning on accusations of commanding a mob that attacked Tororo Girls’ School.

The trio is accused of raiding the school under the guise of reclaiming their land that was donated to the school by their ancestral parents more than 30 years ago.

Mr Okitwi and his colleagues insist that they are not ready to release the land to the school unless they are compensated. They claim the land, measuring about 20 acres, was temporarily donated to the school for 20 years and that the school would only assume full ownership after a mutual understanding with the owners.

The head teacher, Ms Helen Wataba, said those claiming the land are not the genuine donors of the land, adding that she has records to show that the owners of the land were all compensated by the school in 1983.

The Tororo District police commander, Mr Robert Katuramu, said during the attack, “the suspects trespassed into the school compound and looted 7 bags of cement, two wheel barrows and two bicycles from masons erecting the school perimeter wall fence”.

He said they will be charged with criminal trespass and theft.

Recurring issue
In September last year, district officials intervened in a land wrangle between the management of Tororo Girls’ School and its neighbouring community over the ownership of 44 acres of land the school acquired 30 years ago.

The land that was given to the school in 1983 was being claimed by members of Ikaruwok clan. In a meeting chaired by the then Resident District Commissioner Damulira Kyeyune, he aised those who had issues about the land sort them out with Tororo Municipal Council and not the school.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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