The contention forced residents led by Michael Enyangu Etadu, Robert Onanyang, Stephen Erienyu, Patrick Ejelu and Brian Omoding to seek legal redress after it emerged that some politicians had intentionally altered the boundaries to serve their political interests.
High Court in Soroti has finally delivered its verdict on
the contentious administrative boundaries of the newly created Soroti City. Residents
and political leaders have been embroiled in a boundary dispute that has lasted
for months after Soroti was elevated to a city status in July this year.
The contention forced residents led by Michael Enyangu
Etadu, Robert Onanyang, Stephen Erienyu, Patrick Ejelu and Brian Omoding to
seek legal redress after it emerged that some politicians had intentionally
altered the boundaries to serve their political interests.
The areas under contention included Aloet, Arapai, Opiyai and
Orwadai Wards, which had been annexed to Soroti City East. But in his ruling on
Thursday, Justice Wilson Musalu Musene, reverted the said wards to Soroti City
West on grounds that they had erroneously been included by the Local Government
Minister, Raphael Magezi.
Magezi, who was seen in the company of Soroti Municipality MP, Herbert Edmund
Ariko, who is now vying for the Soroti City East parliamentary seat has been on
the spotlight for allegedly siding with some politicians to alter the boundaries
to favour them where they enjoy mass support.
Paul Menya, one of the lawyers in the case, says that court
decision will now help candidates to peacefully canvass for votes in the
gazetted areas. He notes that much as the Electoral Commission had opposed the
decision to have the matter heard by High Court but their argument was
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Parliament and the Soroti district council had approved the mentioned areas as
part of Soroti West. But the local government ministry issued a letter
indicating that the said locations are part of Soroti East.
The case has been in court since September 18th, 2020.
William Opolot, a resident of Aloet who was among tens of the residents
affected by the boundary alteration, says the ruling will now clear the
confusion in the area.
He adds that even politicians have been in total