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Pastoralists Given One Week to Leave Kitgum District

The order was given on December 3, in implementation of an earlier order issued by President Yoweri Museveni on November 20, that all the pastoralists should leave Acholi sub-region in two months, unless they have proof of purchase or lease of the land, a fence and water within.
04 Dec 2021 08:21

Audio 4

The Kitgum District Security Committee headed by the Resident District Commissioner, William Komakech, has issued a one-week ultimatum to pastoralists to vacate the area.

The order was given on December 3, in implementation of an earlier order issued by President Yoweri Museveni on November 20, that all the pastoralists should leave Acholi sub-region in two months unless they have proof of purchase or lease of the land, a fence and water within.  

According to the President, although some of the pastoralists buy or lease land, others invade the area and impose their cattle on other people’s land or that of the government.  

An emergency meeting by the security committee held on Friday, was also used as a fact-finding mission to ascertain the number of pastoralists and their herdsmen, the number of cattle, and the kind of an agreement they have with the landowners.

It was established that there are three cattle keepers in Agoromin Village, Orom Sub-county, and they collectively have 308 head of cattle grazing on a total of 620 acres of un-fenced land hired from three different landowners. The security committee ascertained that a pastoralist known as Willis Morokole is the only one of the three who came to Agoromin Village, through the district leaders.

Komakech said even though the people of Orom said they were relating well with the pastoralists, they must leave as the president ordered. 

//Cue in;  “Wun gwokki onong…

Cue out…marom, en kuman ba.”//  

Morokole, the only cattle keeper who attended the meeting requested to be given a month to prepare transport for his 148 cows. However, the RDC said it would mean exceeding the dateline of January 20, given by the president. But after consultation among the district security committee members, Morokole was then given two weeks starting December 4, 2021, on grounds that he came to the district legally.   

Alfred Kinyera, the District Veterinary Officer, said that the other two pastoralists; Marvin Musinguzi and Fred Batengeza could not be treated leniently because they did not use legal means to settle in the area. It was also established that one of the pastoralists, Marvin Musinguzi, came from Kapeke sub county in Kiboga district, where there was a quarantine on animal movement due to foot and mouth disease.   

Cue in; “And the DISO the RDC…

Cue out…they should be given fewer days.”//  

Because they did not have the required travel documents for their animals, Musinguzi and Batengeza were given only one week in absentia, to leave the district. 

In Namukora North Sub county, the locals complained that the animals by one pastoralist, grazing 86 cattle on 40 acres of land, have destroyed their crops and they have not been compensated.  Alfred Oceng, a farmer in Ogul Village Palobolo Parish, told URN in an interview that the animals destroyed nin acres of millet, from which he expected to earn between  8-9 million Shillings.

Alfred Wokorac, another complainant, said the animals destroyed a total of three acres of potatoes, simsim, millet and cowpeas plant.

Cue in; “Wan kombedi…

Cue out…can tye kapoto.”//  

The cattle keeper in Namukora North was also given a week starting December 4, 2021.   

This is the second time that President Museveni has ordered the pastoralists to leave Acholi sub region. On October 24, the president directed the agriculture minister and the army to evict the pastoralists from northern Uganda after claims emerged from local leaders that the pastoralists were   impeding agriculture in the sub-region.