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Residents Storm RDC`s Office Over Arrest of LC 1 Chairperson

Florence Oryem and Michael Ouna were arrested on Wednesday and later on the day produced before Gulu Grade Magistrates Court on charges of malicious damage. Prosecution alleges that the two on 30th of May this year mobilised hundreds of residents who demolished two grass thatched huts and several household properties belonging to Florence Adong, a witchdoctor operating in the area.
Okwera assists a resident on wheelchair to the RDC`s office

Audio 6

Hundreds of angry residents of Forest Ward in Queen`s Parish Laroo Division Gulu Municipality have stormed the Resident District Commissioner’s office demanding the release of their local chairperson and her vice. 

Florence Oryem and Michael Ouna were arrested on Wednesday and arraigned before the Gulu Chief Magistrate’s court for malicious damage.  

   

Prosecution alleges that on May 30th, 2019, the two mobilised hundreds of residents to demolish two grass thatched huts and household properties belonging to Florence Adong, a witchdoctor operating in the area.       

The Gulu Chief Magistrate, Dawa Matenga remanded the two leaders to Gulu Central Prisons until November 5th, 2019 when they will return for the hearing of the case against them. The prosecution of the two local leaders hasn’t gone down well with residents, who claim the leaders didn’t participate in the mob action.  

  Residents argue that they stormed Adong’s house following their resolution to evict her for her unbecoming behaviors. Led by the Queen`s Parish Councilor, Peter Okwera Onen, the residents held a procession from Forest Ward through Gulu Town to the RDC` office this morning to express their discontent.   

 

Okwera says the arrest and subsequent prosecution of their leaders was uncalled for since Adong`s action had caused tension among the residents when she locked a four year old girl in her shrine on March 20th, 2019 during her initiation leading to her death three days later.

//Cue in: ‘’the malicious damage…     

Cue out: …we are scared.’’//   

 

Kevin Atim, a women leader, says the two LC leaders couldn’t do anything at a time of the mob incident because they were overpowered by the community members.  

Luo Byte.   

Stella Amony, another resident demanded that the local leaders be released immediately because they were defending their people who were living in fear and unrest.  

Luo Byte.   

Nelson Komakech told URN that they are unhappy with the arrest and want the RDC to take action so that the two leaders are released and the matter settled outside court.  

Luo Byte.  

Simon Wokorach received the resident’s petition as directed by the RDC, Santos Okot Lapolo who was out of office. Wokorach promised to immediately handover the petition to the RDC when he steps in office for action.

 

Luo Byte.   

Moses Abonga, the Laroo Division LC III Chairperson called for calm among residents arguing that the matter is equally being handled by his office, adding that he was organizing for a mediation meeting between the parties.   

Residents say three separate meetings have found the accused witchdoctor guilty of several crimes including trying to bewitch a neighbor. She reportedly pleaded guilty before the residents last year and paid a fine of Shillings 200,000 on May 18th, 2019.

    She reportedly committed in writing to vacate the area within two weeks. On May 24th, a meeting between forest sub ward leaders and the accused chaired by Rwot Collins Opoka, the mediation committee chairperson pinned Adong, saying she isn’t a genuine witchdoctor duly initiated by the gods.