Land disputes: Two MPs escape lynching over land

By Eronie Kamukama

 Summary: More than 10 people from one family attempt to lynch Kilak County MP Gilbert Olanya and Amuru District MP Lucy Akello, after they tried to intervene in a land dispute.

mps

Armed residents of Apaa Ogali in Amuru Sub-county, Amuru District last Saturday attempted to assault the Kilak County MP, Mr Gilbert Olanya and Amuru Woman MP Ms Lucy Akello. PHOTO BY OKELLO STEPHEN

AMURU: Two members of Parliament have escaped lynching during negotiations in a land dispute involving more than 6,000 hectares of land in Amuru district.

More than 10 people from one family tried to lynch Kilak County MP, Mr. Gilbert Olanya and Amuru Woman, MP Ms Lucy Akello, in Apaa Ogali village, Amuru sub-county.

The dispute involves two rivaling groups, the family of the Late Yosani Ojwang and an Australian on one side and the rest of the Apaa Ogali community on the other side.

The community accuses the Late Yosani Ojwang for encroaching on their land. The locals claim that the family of Ojwang sold part of the land including theirs to an investor, Mr. Linton Brimblecombe who has since set up a maize farm.

Mr. Olanya and Ms Akello together with other local leaders had paid a visit to the village after women there accused the police of assaulting them during a night raid on the village. After a meeting with the angry residents, he tried to talk to the Australian investor, Mr. Linton Brimblecombe and Ojwang’s family.

However, the MPs were interrupted by people with spears, bows and arrows in a bid to stop them from stepping on their land. Police intervened to stop the attack on the MPs who then talked to Ojwang’s family and the investor under Police protection.

gilbert

Mr. Gilbert Olanya, MP Kilak County

Mr. Olanya has advised on what should be done to solve the issue.

“This is a small matter that does not need Ojwang’s relatives and children to pick up arms against their leaders and threaten to kill them. We need to sit and see where their land ends and where the locals claim theirs is.”

Mr. Linton Brimblecombe who owns Omer Farming Company Limited denies buying the land.

“I do not love to see violence, especially on claims that my investment is making locals uncomfortable. I have never bought land here and I am just renting the land from Ojwang’s family,” he said.

He has promised to meet the residents to discuss this matter.