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Ministry Delays Boundary Opening in Moroto

On Friday, John Vianney Lutaaya, the Principal Staff Surveyor in the Lands Ministry who accompanied the minister to the dialogue, said they were planning to travel to Moroto. Without divulging more, the officer said he would explain all the delays on arrival to Moroto.
Minister Namuganza with Moroto MPs during dialogue between Rupa and Katikekile residents on boundary opening in Moroto.

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The Lands, Housing and Urban Development has delayed the planning opening of the Rupa and Katikekile sub county boundary in Moroto district. Last week, the Lands State Minister, Persis Namuganza pitched camp in Moroto to commence the process of the border opening.  

Namuganza and a team of technocrats indicated that the border would be opened on May 27th, 2019. Scores remained stranded in Rupa Trading Centre and Singila suburb awaiting the officials from the ministry to visit the site in vain.       

By 11:00am, Michael Akol, the LC3 chairman of Katikekile ran out of patience and moved to town. He told URN that he couldn’t wait any longer since there was no sign of any official at the site. He however, later told our reporter that the exercise had been pushed to the next day.  

But Tuesday went quiet without any development on the whereabouts of the ministry officials. 

On Friday, John Vianney Lutaaya, the Principal Staff Surveyor in the Lands Ministry who accompanied the minister to the dialogue, said they were planning to travel to Moroto. Without divulging more, the officer said he would explain all the delays on arrival to Moroto.     

“We cannot discuss this on phone. Just wait for me in Moroto and we talk”, he said on phone.

Dan Manjori Apollo, the LC3 chairman for Rupa Sub County, says the community is losing patience since the minister promised to settle the matter this week. 

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Moroto Resident District Commissioner, Peter Ken Lochap also expressed ignorance of what could have caused the delay. “I think there were some logistical issues at the headquarters since they talked of raising concrete pillars at the boundary. I’m also not aware but I hear they are ready and will probably be here next week”, he said.

The two sub counties have been fighting over the administrative boundary since 2002 when mining activities commenced in Moroto. They are fighting over Rata village, which hosts the base of DAO Marble Limited, Musupo and Nakiloro parishes- all enriched with vast mineral deposits especially marble, limestone and gold. 

The conflict has since failed the two sub counties from accessing seven percent of royalties from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. Even the proposal to share royalties through council resolutions by the department of geological surveys was snubbed by the leadership of both sub counties.