Land Dispute: Kitgum School Rejects Out of Court Settlement

1395 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
The school is found in Manwoko Parish in Labongo Amida Sub County.

It seats on a huge chunck of land that was donated by five families in 1946 in memory of World War II veterans.

The Management of Opette Primary School in Kitgum district has rejected an out of court settlement aimed the a resolving of a long dispute that has dragged on since 1982. The school is found  in Manwoko Parish in Labongo Amida Sub County.

It seats on a huge chunk of land that was donated by five families in 1946 in memory of World War II veterans. However, in 1982, the family of the late  David Oyaru dragged the school to court for trespass. 

However, FelixOmalla, the Kitgum Chief Magistrate advised the two parties to resolve their dispute amicably through mediation led by Counsel Lloyd Ocorobiya. On Saturday, a meeting was held to resolve the dispute.

Samson John Okwera,  the representative of the aggrieved family challenged the school to acknowledge them as bonnafide owners and share part of the disputed land. This didn't go down well with, Godfrey Toolit, the Chairperson of Opette School Management Committee.

He out rightly rejected the proposal and opted for litigation to decide the bonnafide owner.  Toolit said he is confident the school will adduce enough evidence to prove its ownership of the disputed land.

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This is the second time attempts to resolve this conflict through mediation has failed.  According to Okwera in 2007, the school refused to negotiate with them which forced them to renew the case in courts of law.

Okwera says his family is only interested in the 40 acre piece of the land that the school has since trespassed on without consent. He says they won't disturb the school over the 20 acre piece of land that his father donated to the school.

Patrick Akoko, the lawyer of Okwera and family told Uganda Radio Network that they are ready for the legal battle following the rejection of an out of court settlement of the matter.

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Counsel Lloyd Ocorobiya told Uganda Radio network that court will fix hearing date after analyzing the mediation report to decide the owner of the disputed land.

The school will be represented by Odongo Louis and Company Advocate while Okwera and family will be represented by Jude Ogik and Company Advocate.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.