More than 100 residents of Ayivu in Arua City have clashed with the Maracha county legislator, Dennis Oguzu Lee accusing him of grabbing part of Barifa Forest land.
On Tuesday afternoon, angry residents stormed the 10-acre piece of land
the National Forestry Authorities allocated the legislator in 2019 for the establishment of an Eco-Tourism center.
In 2019, NFA called interested applicants
to apply for land to establish business
ventures on part of the forest reserve land, which Anguzu did. However, the
allocation of the land to the legislator has not gone down well with some Arua
city leaders where the forest lies.
They accuse the legislator of working as a front for some big shots in government to grab Barifa
land. Oguzu, who had gone to supervise mowing of the area was taken by surprise when the angry
residents arrived demanding that he leaves the area or dies on the land.
//Cue in; Bitter exchange ……
Cue out; advise MP to leave,”//
Efforts by Oguzu to
explain to the angry mob that he legally acquired the land fueled more anger among the mob
//Cue In: “I’m not the MP of
Cue out… go away. Go away,”//
Over 30 anti-riot police
officers led by Arua District Police Commander, Jude Nasucha managed to disperse the angry crowd before whisking away Oguzu.
//Cue in; People can you leave
Cue out:….clear the road…clear the road,”//
By the time the residents attacked the MP, a team of officials from the National Physical
Planning Authority were meeting political and technical officers on Arua city on the deferred establishment of the eco-tourism project.
Barifa forest seats on over 700 hectares of land in Arua City. It was earmarked for degazzettment in 2010 after
the then Municipal Council secured land in Logiri Sub County in exchange for the forest