The Ugandan army has been accused of illegally occupying a community Polytechnic that is meant to offer life skills to the youths in Amuru district. Amuru Polytechnic was constructed in 2008 with support from DED, a Germany-based Civil Peace Service, at a cost of more than 600 million shillings.
Local leaders in Amuru accuse the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) of occupying Amuru Community Polytechnic forcing it to cease operation.
Amuru Polytechnic was constructed in 2008 with support from DED, a Germany-based Civil Peace Service, at a cost of more than 600 million shillings. The polytechnic was meant to equip formerly abducted children with life skills in bricklaying, tailoring and motor vehicle mechanics among others.
The centre was handed over to Amuru district local government in 2010 leading to the admission of the first intake of about 100 students.
But now the area local leaders say the UPDF has occupied the school and prevented students from accessing it. They claim the army occupied the school late last year at the height of the wrangle between the locals and Madhvani Group of Companies over the land adjacent to the school.
Gilbert Oulanya, the Kilak County Member of Parliament, explains that he protested against the move taken by the army by writing to the Ministry of Defense but he got no response.
//Cue in: “When they stopped…
Cue out…quit that place.”//
Anthony Omach Atubu, the Amuru Local Council 5 Chairperson declined to comment on the issue.
But Isaac Oware, the 4th Division Spokesperson, says the UPDF moved in to occupy the institute following a request made by the Amuru district security committee. He explains that based on the security concerns raised by the district security committee they had to deploy in order to secure the place.
Oware says the deployment was made because the level of security threat was high and couldn’t be handled by the police alone.
He says the army will continue to be at the school until they get an alternative place to setup their military installation to maintain peace in Amuru.
The locals however say the deployment is meant to scare them away from the land that Amuru district local government has offered to Madhvani Group of Companies.
The locals are locked up in a wrangle with Madhvani Group over 10,000 acres of land that they claim is their customary land. Madhivani needs the same land to establish a sugar factory.