Acholi leaders meeting at Bomah Hotel in Gulu to reprimanded Anthony Akol, the Chairman of Acholi Parliamentary Groups which came under critic as to why he ventures to go for land verification of Balaalo nomadism, all the leaders agreed to kick off Balaalo following President Museveni Executive Direction Number 3 to kick all the Balaalo from Acholi Sub Region.
“Lyer pa MPs “Anthony Akol responded
Who allegedly accused me of having money sponsored by Gen. Salim Saleh, he roared during a two-day workshop for Acholi Leaders called to understand President Museveni Executive Order 03/2023 and understanding the constitutional court ruling 28/2019 and land the constitutional land tenure and Aswa ranch.
Grace Kwecwiny, Minister for Northern Uganda says the Acholi Leaders meeting resolution is going to give a new dawn in Northern Uganda.
“We don’t want to give land to Balaalo, wadeg miyo ngom” Peter Okwera
GULU CITY-FRIDAY: August 11, 2023. Allusive self-styled crabby Acholi Members of Parliament cornered last week in Bomah Hotel during Acholi Leaders meeting by former MP for Agago district on alleged planned to rubbish and block President Museveni good will, Executive Directive 03/2023 to expel Balaalo from Acholi land,
The duo, Anthony Akol the MP for Kilak South County and Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the MP for Gulu City Pece-Laroo Division they planned to rubbish and block President Museveni good will, Executive Directive 03/2023 to expel Balaalo from Acholi land, former MP for Agago Peter Okwera grilled him.
Re-battle Anthony Akol, who was time and again shooting down any suggestion by any members of Acholi leaders passing resolution to kick away Balaalo from Acholi areas as the executive dateline is extended to 30, September 2023, from the Region, Akol was insisting that according his verification fact finding, they have found out that there are some UPDF generals, Ministers and MPs they have bought land, while other Balaalo hired land from the community.
He says there is no need to sell land to the Balaalo, instead those Balaalo who have bought land from the community should be allowed to stay.
“I have moved to the areas where the Balaalo have bought land, places like Palaro Sub County Oroko Sub County, Pogo Pabbo Sub County, in Gulu District.
While the Balaalo have settled in Pogo village in Pabbo Sub County I have found out that there are some General who have bought over 700,000 acres’ land many of them have fenced their land which they are grazing their animals inside the fence, as was demanded for.
Akol says such Balaalo should not be expelled although they fall under President Museveni Directive Executive order, because they claimed that they have bought title land which title of leasehold tenure, but the problem is the land they have bought is customary land.” Anthony Akol agitated.
Balaalo are taboo people
Peter Okwera, reasoned there was no need for the Acholi community to allow the Balaalo to stay and mixt with them, because we still regard them that they are people who killed us, secondly, under customary land system is under trio, the land belonging to the dead, to the living and unborn child. Which means the customary land cannot be sold, the Balaalo bought airs.
“The Acholi people and the Balaalo has not yet reconcile, there no truth telling and reparation has not yet been done, the bending of spears has not taken place, we are still enemy because the massacre which took place in Acholi land Balaalo has the hallmark in the genocide.
“Wan peya wa camo ki joni, meno Ojabu.”
By the fact now that we are living together with them, those are the abomination, see now what they are doing, you told us that some mother are giving their young girls as young 14 years to them as wives, the Balaalo are defiling even minor and yet thousands of youths have been locked in prison under Uganda court of law for defilement as Balaalo are engaged in sexual immorality with our women. Even defiling your girl-child” Muzee Peter Okwera warns Akol and his teams.
Peter Okwera insinuated that the issues of land are not simple matter, many people died because of land conflict, the land east of River Nile by 1900 Buganda Agreement, the British colonial found Acholi living here were we are, from Atura Masindi port following River Nile up to Nimule, South Sudan, this our land.
But, in 1936, because of sleeping sickness disease, the Madi chief who were from West of River Nile ask the Acholi chief to allow those Madi to settle in Adjumani district, but later when they settled they asked for their own Sub County and later the acquired the district status, can’t you see now they have turned to grabbed our land Apaa, reasoning that Apaa belong to them.
In 1942 Later Rwot there was a problem between Rwot Adoko of Lango and Rwot Andrew Olal of Puranga on the land boundary, Rwot Adoko was demanding that their boundary saying Lango boundary is at Minakulu swamp, while Rwot Olal was saying Acholi boundary is at Atabara. So, the British Protectorate instead gave Minakulu to become the boundary of Acholi and Lango district.
In 1950 When Anthony Opwa was a member of LEGCO, Member of Legislative Assembly, there was allegation that he gave land in Agago County to investor which later turn out to be Agago ranch.in turn it provoke the people of Agago to go on arms to fight Antony Opwa, the people made ululation, people came from all over and planted nets on Moroto road stressing from Lira Paluo to Kona Kilak in ambushes to waylay Anthony Opwa.
However, when the messages reached him, Opwa had to stay in Gulu Town for three months.
Puranga community tribal unrest against Muteso
In 1960, there was a man called Otim Larine from Kal Odoko Taya, in Lukwir Parish, Lalogi Sub County in Puranga chiefdom who had invited his Muteso friend to come and look after his cattle, the live with him until 1969 when Gulu District Land Board was changed to become government Public land, the government disband it, changed the land law to become Uganda Land Board Commission.
The alien Muteso who he had invited to keep called his clan mate to settle and later they occupied the old man’s place and later they became so many and they got their own parish called Lukwir Parish.
The alien Muteso turned against their own master who had invited him, took over the land which was belonging to him and later began to taunt Acholi community that they were stupid.
The Lukwir man wished man good luck until his turn came, he kept quiet, unlike you who are sitting here. In 1979 when the Amin government was overthrown, the people of Lukwir chased all the invaders.
“You better learn from the history” the old man, Peter Okwera reasoned.
In 1960, President Jomoy Kenyatta, the then President of Kenya gave money to his people to go and buy land in the Rift Valley. From the Kalenjin people, in 2007 the then Raila Odinga friend William Ruto their presidential election was rigged and robbed, the Kalenjin people alienated them, they killed 17,000 Kikuyu people.
“Ajut me mino mgom bot dano tye iyi Acholi, literacy there are those imbecile people who give land just anyhow, go to the Lango community, they will have interrogated whose son or daughters who has brought that Balaalo, wonder if there are there any an Acholi man who has settle in Western Uganda, no.” Peter Okwera argued.
Senior counsel Ladwar warns
Water Okidi Ladwar, the led Counsels, Dr. Irine Anying PHD and Grace Lamunu narrated that according to Uganda Constitutional Court ruling 28/2019, ruled that the customary land tenure system cannot be sold, because customary land system are help in perpetually, land belong to the death, the living and unborn.
The constitutional court says the customary land system cannot be sold, unless all family members, clan members, and Rwot of the chief signed for the sales. So only Balaalo were interested in humiliating our community because they got the money from the power that was to come and buy our land, but guns cannot do anything. We have seen people who praised when they had guns, where is the Mohamad Gadifi of Libya, he was the most powerful president in Africa, he had all types of guns, but where is he now?
“We have understood that some of the Balaalo went to extend to conniving with the people who sold their land to them, first they facilitated the process registration of land to the leasehold tenure system, and later they went and bought the land from them, and later they changed it to freehold which fraud.
Acholi owned land under communal customary land tenure. Those who have bought land in those arrangements their business is null and void.”
However, he reassured Acholi Leaders that the ruling of Conditional Court which was ruled 6 months ago, cannot be challenged in court of law, it now in place, because the government failed to appeal against the ruling
He commented about the president Executive order no 3, says president Museveni direction, the first part directive of implementation goes to, Regional and District Police Commander must reinforce the executive order, Residence District Commissioners and District Chairman of all the 8 districts must reinforce the president executive order, but due to the dateline that has been extended. We have to wait, Ladwar noted.
Reasoning that the Customary Land system when converted to leasehold tenure will lose the customary land value because the person who won the land title of said tenure when he passed on, the tenure system must be transferred to the next of kin, although under tenure system the owner enjoys perpetually. But the tenure system will never be converted back to the customary tenure system.
“I advise those people who want to convert their customary land tenure to the freehold of the land tenure system to stop it, once you make a conversion it will never be converted back. “Lead Senior Counsel Okidi Walter Ladwar remarked.
In conclusion, Okidi Ladwar argues the Acholi community that since sales of land took place, customary land belongs to all of us. Therefore, we based our argument on the constitutional ruling to protect our land.
Dr. Irine Anying, Gulu University Law dawn, a scholar in Customary Land system explores Acholi Leaders meeting, arguing that customary land systems would even protect Acholi community against the Balaalo invasion.
However, the Acholi Local Government Councils should make sure to call for the district council sitting to pass a resolution to make it a byelaw, Acholi have Nine districts in the region when the pass resolution to become the bye-law it will bar sale of customary land.
Dr. Anying asked Acholi leaders to learn from the mistake of the Balaalo, query how can we protect the customary land system against the odds, she appealed to saying the customary land system can be used when people registered their land under Certificate of Customary Ownership CCO, but is needs all members of the family to registered their names in document of certificate of customary ownership.
She also warns people saying when they get the certificate of customary ownership they cannot make conversion of customary land system to tenure or leasehold, when you convert it to government when you failed to pay land tax.
“Under certificate of customary ownership no single person in the family cannot sell the land, but the problems are that we do not have a registry of customary tenure system and yet Mailo tenure, freehold and leasehold they all have a registry. I advise our Members of Parliaments when they are calling for the amendment of the Land Act, to let the personnel that would be handling customary land registry at the parish level, the Land Ministry considered to train the personnel with high integrity. As of now we do not have reference documents to refer to.” Dr. Anying lamented.
Grace Lamunu Dawn Makerere University lecture Acholi Leaders about trust relationship which based on trust, the owner land trust gives it to another person who is a trustee, you give it to a person to hold it trust, it can be recoverable. Under trust, there can be invoker able trust, once you have entered in, there is no going back.
James Ojera Latigo, says in 2015 under Acholi Leadership Forum, there was Civil Society Organization CSO TRACAR carry research on land trustees, says when they conducted research on land trust system, before implementation was put in place, even those who sent them to do the research turn against them.
The Acholi Leaders meeting came up with nine point resolutions on Balaalo from today’s meeting at Bomah Hotel, Gulu City.
- The illegal sales of land to Balaalo should be cancelled with immediate effect.
- The illegal land titles and leases acquired by Balaalo should be cancelled with immediate effects
- Sales of customary land should be suspended until stringent guideline are issued
- Procedures of land acquisitions in Acholi should be stringent to avoid easily acquisitions
- Government to establish land registry in the region
- All Balaalo must be evacuated from immediate effect and after six months their complain s can be hard
- The land act to be amended to remove conversion of customary land to freehold
- The freehold title issued in regards to Aswa Ranch should be revoked.
Pillich Okin, the MP for Cwa West on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 addressed a press conference at Betty Aol Ocan MP for Gulu City, they condemned Anthony Akol, who they thought was a traitor.
“Anthony Akol is not moving on behalf of Acholi Parliamentary Groups APG but on Gen. Salim Saleh project, is there any way that he can turned the presidential Executive order to kick out Balaalo from Northern Uganda, president Museveni directive says all Balaalo must be evicted from Acholi land and their land title must be cancelled. Acholi land is under customary land tenure, although all the constitution of Uganda allows all Uganda to settle everywhere, but Balaalo have abused the constitution of Uganda by moving and grazing on people’s gardens “P.P Okin alluded.
Betty Aol’s press function attracted Margret Lamwaka, the MP for Cwa East and Gilbert Olanya the cantankerous MP for Kilak South, the only four Acholi MPs out of 25 MPs.