Dozens of residents in Nwoya district have pinned Maj. Gen. Charles Otema Awany, the commander of the UPDF Reserve Force, for illegal eviction, encroachment and land grabbing.
The residents accuse Maj Gen Otema of using his position in the army to forcibly evict locals from their land in Mar Okwera ward, Got Okwara Village and Obira Village in Lungulu and Got Apwoyo Sub Counties respectively.
A 35-year-old resident of Mar Okwera ward told the Commission of Inquiry on land that soldiers of Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF under Maj. Gen. Otema’s command were deployed to forcefully evict them on April 29, 2017.
The resident, identified as Doctor Oweka says they were evicted by 12 soldiers commanded by one Lieutenant Mark, a lawyer allegedly attached to UPDF. He recalls that during the eviction, his three huts and one iron-roofed house were razed down alongside 100 acres of Maize, Rice and ground nuts using a hired tractor. Household properties were equally destroyed.
He adds that the army has maintained its presence in the area frustrating efforts by people who had sought to reclaim their land. Oweka said that he was evicted shortly after securing a plan for his 350 acres of land for which he spent 11 million Shillings.
“We all remain displaced in various places. I am living with my children in Otwe in Amuru district headquarters. My children can no longer go to school because we have lost the source of our livelihood” he stated.
- By URN