The Kitgum district security committee has forcefully evicted pastoralists commonly from Orom East sub-county.
The operation was in line with the second phase of the eviction code-named Lainisha Kilimo Na Mifungu, which was flagged off by the State Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. David Muhoozi in Gulu on February 11. The first phase of the eviction targeted pastoralists occupying government land in Pader, Nwoya, Amuru and Apac districts was launched on January 14, this year.
The second phase is aimed at evicting the pastoralists on community land who moved back illegally and are committing other breaches including straying into people’s gardens. The operation in Zone B, which comprises of Kitgum, Pader and Lamwo districts was commanded by Brig. Gen. Phillip Mugarura.
Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech oversaw two pastoralists escorted with their animals numbering 350 to Orom primary School to give time for the owners to look for a vehicle to transport them out of the district. Komakech says they decided to carry out the impromptu and forceful eviction, after the pastoralists failed to honor the several deadlines given to them.
Translation: “We gave several deadlines because we doing it peacefully unlike yesterday, but they refused to obey. That is why we gathered 350 animals and kept them in Orom primary School because it is fenced. So since yesterday, the animals have not eaten because the eviction is now forceful. We cannot keep treating the pastoralists with lenience by allowing the animals to eat. It will make them not bother to look for a vehicle to transport the animals.”
Komakech says they have given the pastoralists only today, Friday 18, to evacuate their animals, failure of which will force the District Veterinary Officer and the District Police Commander to seek a court order to have the animals auctioned.
Translation: “What will happen is that we shall give them only today, Friday to evacuate the animals. If they fail, the DVO and the DPC will, as the operation guideline stipulates, get a court order, and we auction the animals.”
Orom sub-county and Kiteny sub-county councillors told Uganda Radio Network that the animals are still locked in the fenced school up to this morning, as the owners said they are waiting for vehicles from Kampala.