Tension is brewing between the management of Tororo Cement Industries and its surrounding community in Osukuru Sub County over a road reserve.
Tension is mounting between the management of Tororo Cement Industries and the neighboring community in Osukuru sub county over a road reserve. The residents led by Kefa Othieno and Louis Odoi the LC I chairperson of UCI Central and TICAF villages respectively, accuse the management of the factory of attempting to extend its perimeter wall into the road reserve. Odoi says that the residents are angry because the management of the factory has stopped them from cultivating in the road reserve turning the lower part of it into a flower garden.
Rev. Fr. Centurio Olaboro, a resident of the area says that it is unfortunate that the locals in TICAF parish are being exploited. Fr Olaboro, who is also the Director of Great Aubrey Memorial College, which is opposite the factory, says that, the lives and rights of the residents have put in jeopardy by those who were supposed to have protected them.
The priest has threatened to lead a demonstration should the district leadership fail to intervene and protect the rights of the residents. The tension between the residents and UCI has attracted the attention of Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA. UNRA has written to the management of Tororo Cement Industries asking it suspend all the works on the road reserve until clear road boundaries are drawn.
In the August 31 letter, Chris Opuchi, the UNRA Tororo Station Manager says that their investigations show that the boundaries of the cement factory have encroached on the road reserve. According to the letter, the factory has encroached on a total width of 20 meters from the center of the road on either side in breach of the Roads Act 1949.
Brij Mohan Gagrani, the Executive Director of Tororo Cement Industries has denied any wrong doing. He explains that the factory is just rehabilitating its perimeter wall, planting flowers for beautification and creating a path for their staff, customers and pedestrians. He appealed to the communities to remain calm as they will sort out the matter.