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Police Blocks MP Olanya's Consultative Meeting on COVID-19 Money

The meeting which was taking place in a hall at Lacor Catholic Parish in Lamogi Sub County ended prematurely when heavily armed policemen led by the Officer in Charge of Operations at Amuru Central Police Station Jonathan Apuwae stormed the area and ordered everyone to vacate or face arrest.
Gilbert Olanya negotiating with police to allow the meeting proceed. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara.

Audio 5

Police in Amuru has blocked a consultative meeting organized by Kilak South Member of Parliament Gilbert Olanya to discuss how to use the 20 million Shillings COVID-19  facilitation from Parliament.

The meeting which was taking place in a hall at Lacor Catholic Parish in Lamogi Sub County ended prematurely when heavily armed policemen led by the Officer in Charge of Operations at Amuru Central Police Station Jonathan Apuwae stormed the area and ordered everyone to vacate or face arrest.  

Apuwae in the company of heavily armed Field Force Police officers stormed the area and ordered everyone to leave on account that they were defying the presidential guidelines on prevention of coronavirus disease. In the guidelines, the president announced a ban on gatherings of more than five people.

More than 14 people including religious leaders, in charges of health centres, district councillors and cultural leaders were taking part in the meeting which had just commenced with self-introductions and a briefing about the meeting by the MP, who said that he had secured permission from the Resident District Commissioner and the District Police Commander to conduct the meeting.

Olanya told URN shortly after the dispersal that he was seeking advice from the selected people on how the 20 million Shillings given to MPs by parliament can be utilized to support the fight against COVID-19 in Kilak South.  

//Cue in; ‘’it`s quite unfortunate…

Cue out…them they touch.’’//  

He, however, added that he will not risk giving the money to the district or returning to parliament where it will most likely be misused.

//Cue in; ‘’there are other… 

Cue out…in Amuru district.’’//   

Richard Komakech Ford, the Chairperson of Otwee Town Council who was part of the meeting expressed disappointment with the police saying that the meeting was meant to benefit the people. Before the closure, Reverend Father Justine Loum, the Parish Priest of Lacor had welcomed the legislator`s initiative of involving opinion leaders in managing the COVID-19 money.   

The money is part of the 10 billion Shillings that legislators received to facilitate COVID-19 prevention activities during the ongoing lockdown.

Several Members of Parliament including Lucy Akello the Amuru district Woman Member of Parliament, Samuel Odonga Otto of Aruu County and Jacob Oulanyah of Omoro County among others have since returned the money.