Ola added that by instituting a charge on any land sale is a direct authorisation of land transaction in Acholi sub-region, which is against the institutions objective.
PIC: A participant from Gulu district inquiring on land matters. (Arnest Tumwesige)
GULU - The Acholi cultural institution has distanced itself from the 10% levy by some cultural leaders from the sale of land in their areas of authority.
“As an institution we have never at any one time sat and resolved to charge individuals selling land 10% of the what they are paid,” prime minister Ambrose Ola said.
Ola (pictured left) added that by instituting a charge on any land sale is a direct authorisation of land transaction in Acholi sub-region, which is against the institutions objective.
He took the stand after a series of complaints from residents who were attending a Northern Uganda land rights awareness conference held in Gulu municipality on Friday.
“Sale of land is prohibited, but if there is an urgent issue such sickness, land can be sold in consultation with other family members,” Ola noted.
In a conference organised by Action Aid Uganda, participants expressed disappointment in some cultural leaders who are extorting money from residents, who think it is their mandate to remit 10% of the sales to their cultural leaders.
Ola also urged the subjects to desist from lamenting after almost 12 years when peace started being realised in the region and focus on the future by embracing work.
The Rev. Joel Agel Awio, the executive director of Northern Uganda inter-church alliance on land conflicts, said the fight against numerous land sales and eviction of people is due to high corruption among stakeholders.
Awio noted that while there are laws to protect individuals against self-seekers, the law implementers are compromised, making it hard to protect the vulnerable ones.
“Cases are reported to the Police, but sometimes they delay, they end up turning into criminal from civil suits. There’s a likely hood that the delay is deliberate,” he added.
The acting Pader district Police commander, Obitho Samson, acknowledged that due to delays, either of the parties end up devising other means to harm one another.
Obitho, however, also noted that there are many concocted cases that are reported to the Police in the form of murder, rape and defilement when thoroughly investigated, they emanate from land wrangles.
Albert Kwawan, the Action Aid project officer, said the focus in the subsequent years is going to be based on people themselves engaging in meaningful struggles for social justice.
Sheilla Lamunu, a paralegal in Lukwoo-ojuu village, Lagile parish, Awere sub-county Pader district told New Vision that efforts to mediate land-related issues are frustrated with death threats, making it hard to fully engage in the process.