The charcoal valued at 112,500,000 million Shillings were being transported from Adjumani District via Amuru enroute to Busia Sofia Marker in Busia Town at the Uganda – Kenya border. The incident happened between December 2019 and January 2020.
One of the trucks carrying loads of charcoal intercepted and auctioned to local residents in Lokung trading center in Lamwo district
A Kampala based businesswoman, Sumbuwa Shamim Lala, has dragged Amuru Resident
District Commissioner– RDC and Amuru District Local Government to Court for impounding his charcoal.
Through Alaka & Company Advocates, Sumbuwa is demanding a compensation of 38,270,000 million Shillings in special damages suffered after
the RDC, Linda Agnes Auma aided by police and military, to seize his 750 bags of charcoal, valued at 112,500,000 million Shillings.
He accuses the RDC of inciting the public in Amuru to loot the charcoal that was being
Adjumani and Moyo Districts via Amuru enroute to Busia Sofia Market in
Busia Town . The incident happened between December 2019 and January
He argues that
around August 2019, the price of charcoal at the Busia border post was high and competitive
costing up to 150,000 Shillings and it
was against this background that in the course of her business, she discovered
that one, Gabriel Maku Goli, was granted license by Adjumani District Local
Government for land opening and burning charcoal on his farmland.
According to the court documents, Maku had burnt charcoal pursuant to the license
and had charcoal to sell for commercial purposes before being approached by the plaintiff
to purchase the said charcoal.
plaintiff, in August 27, 2019, paid for an application form for casual license
for buying and selling of charcoal from Adjumani Local Government and was given
and the same form approved by Local Council Offices; Secretary for Production
and District Forestry Officer.
complying with the conditions, the plaintiff further attests that she paid for
and obtained all the necessary licenses including the Forest Produce Movement
Permit for the consignment of 450 long bags of charcoal.
December 17, 2019, she waved off her employee Brian Nyabuga to leave with the
Truck loaded with charcoal to Busia as stipulated in the movement permit.
she got a phonecall from the employee that the Truck was stopped and impounded at Atiak
Police Station. While
the employee produced all the relevant documents for the movement of the
charcoal, the police allegedly demanded a bribe of One million Shillings’
failure of which, they called the RDC, who arrived with her military body guards and
demanded four million Shillings.
Upon protesting to pay the said money, the RDC in the company
of Atiak Sub-County Chairperson, Alfred Odiya Baguma incited the mob who
descended on the Truck and looted all the bags of charcoal including a jet-50
turns, full carpet and five pieces of body rails. Meanwhile, Brian
Nyabuga was beaten by the rowdy mob and later detained at Atiak Police Station.
Again, on January 20, the plaintiff claims she sent her agent
Bashir Nyabuga to buy 300 long bags of charcoal from Moyo District after fulfilling
and paying for all the requirements. But
again on reaching Atiak, the RDC in the same manner stopped the Truck, took it
to Atiak Police Station and caused the same to be looted in a similar fashion
by the public.
the plaintiff argues that actions by the RDC, the Uganda Police
Force and Uganda People’s Defense Force – UPDF were unlawful and illegal as they demanded for bribes, disregarding all the official documents allowing her to
transact business and mobilizing the public to loot all the goods.
According to the Plaintiff, the action of the accused and security forces were arbitrary, without any court order, unconstitutional and oppressive and caused her
anguish, pain, trauma, and she was economically inconvenienced as her source of
income financing the whole transaction was a loan she picked from different sources.
The Attorney General, the RDC and Amuru District Local Government are yet to
respond on the matter.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.