The over two acres of land located in Ediofe Mission village Komite parish, former Pajulu Sub County is reported to be belonging to Ediofe Cathedral Parish after it was handed by the then locals to Comboni Missionaries over 100 years ago.
The administration of Ediofe Cathedral Parish in Arua District is
engulfed in a bitter land row with a private school owner with each accusing
the other of criminal trespass.
The over two acres of land located in Ediofe Mission village Komite parish,
former Pajulu Sub County is reported to be belonging to Ediofe Cathedral Parish
after it was handed by the then locals to Comboni Missionaries over 100 years
ago, but according to Pontius Afayoa the proprietor of Happy Day Nursery and
Primary school, the administration of Ediofe has decided to trespass on his
land he purchased in late 2000.
The rift between Afayoa and the Ediofe Parish Administration took a new twist
in 2016 after the Parish Administration took Afayoa to court and the matter is
still pending disposal by the judges.
Afayoa says that he surprised after he returned two days from his village, to
find that part of the road he uses was blocked, adding that several attempts
have been made by the Parish Administration of Ediofe to grab his land and
school, forcing him to report the matter to police.
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Monsignor Kasto Adeti the Parish Priest Ediofe Cathedral Parish said they
blocked the road because a new road had been created in the Church land.
“Afayoa opened the road without the knowledge of the church and
we blocked this road because what we know is this land belongs to the church
and there is no way someone will come to open a road from this land unless with
the authority of the Parish or the diocese,”
But Albino Aruayi one of the landlords who sold part of the land to Afayoa has
dismissed the claim by Ediofe Cathedral Parish Administration saying the land
is no longer under lease as the church claims.
According to him, the Parish administration has assumed ownership
of the land and yet the original landlords are present in the area.
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Micah Avubieng the Police Community Liaison Officer Arua in a
meeting to resolve the impasse between Afayoa and Ediofe Cathedral Parish urged
the Diocese to open the road and wait for Court pronouncement on the matter.
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In December 2018, locals from the three clans of Andruvu, Komite and Odruvu
where the Arua Catholic Diocese is located took the diocese to court claiming
they had not paid ground rent for 99 years amounting to billions of shillings
and also demanded renewal of the lease or else their land reverts to them.
The matter was taken to Arua High Court and is still pending the Court