Hundreds of Olailong market vendors in Layibi-Bardege Division in
Gulu City on Friday defied the Ministry of Health`s guidelines on Covid-19 following a visit by Betty Aol Ocan, the Leader of Opposition in
Aol who is also the Gulu district Woman Member of Parliament had paid a visit
in the market to launch the distribution of learning materials to nursery
Olailong Market is the third-largest market in Gulu City after Cereleno and Gulu
The meeting started well with the vendors observing physical distancing as they
listened to Aol’s speech.
It, however, turned rowdy when Aol disclosed that she had come with one million
shillings to give to the vendors as seed capital.
She said that she will hand over the money to Concy Odokorach who was delegated
by the market chairperson to welcome the LOP. However, this drew protests from
the vendors who cited mistrust.
The more than one hundred vendors who were not wearing face masks demanded that
the money be handed over to the different sections of the market. They charged from their different stalls
towards the LOP and Odokorach and rounded them up.
It took several minutes for Odokorach and the LOP to convince the vendors to
return to their seats and allow the LOP hand over the money to Odokorach.
The vendors later agreed that the money is handed over to Odokorach. Dozens
of the vendors headed by Odokorach later marched with the Aol through the
Aol said that she had brought two boxes of soap and a water tank to ensure that
the vendors observe the Ministry of Health guidelines combat the spread of
//Cue in: ‘’Covid-19 is still…
Cue out: …while in public.’’//
She added that she also used the opportunity to consult the vendors on her
intention to contest for the Gulu City Woman Member of Parliament seat in 2021.
//Cue in: ‘’and also with…
Cue out: …of my area.’’//
One of the vendors, Ruth Aber said that it was risky for the LOP to gather the
crowd at this time when the world is faced with Covid-19.
Another vendor who spoke on condition of anonymity also criticized the
LOP for her recklessness by not observing social distancing and failing to
emphasize wearing of face masks yet Gulu is registering community cases of
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc