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Soroti teachers evicted from staff quarters 

By Emmanuel Opio

Added 23rd March 2019 07:30 PM

The eviction followed a court decree that was issued by Soroti High Court judge, Justice David Batema.

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A teacher of Pamba Primary school looks on as property as the eviction was carried on Friday.Photo by Emmanuel Opio.

The eviction followed a court decree that was issued by Soroti High Court judge, Justice David Batema.

EVICTION


SOROTI - Teaching and learning at Pamba primary school in Soroti municipality came to a standstill on Friday as five teachers were evicted from their quarters.

The eviction followed a court decree that was issued by Soroti High Court judge, Justice David Batema on civil suit NO 041/2014 in favour of the plaintiffs, Juliet Akello and Betty Akujo. The decree was delivered on January 22, 2019.

The plaintiffs through their council, Richard Omongole, had filed a suit against Soroti Municipality, Simon Olobo, David Ojinga and Moses Elweu over illegal acquisition of two plots of land where Pamba primary school teachers’ quarters were built.

The eviction was executed by Alfred Okale, who was sub-contracted by Chap-Chap General Auctioneers and Court bailiffs.

Teacher’s belongings were dumped at the school playground before the school administration gave them shelter in class rooms.

 upils of amba look on some of teachers property thrown out of the houses after the eviction hoto by mmanuel pio Pupils of Pamba look on some of teachers property thrown out of the houses after the eviction. Photo by Emmanuel Opio.


Samuel Eyobu, the LC3 chairperson of western division in Soroti municipality described the eviction of teachers from staff houses as a demeaning action to the teaching profession.

“I am a shamed of what has happened. I request people to avoid doing such to academic institutions because education is a key to development. We are likely to close up this school until the community decides what to do on the matter.” Eyobu said.

Eyobu blamed some political leaders for allegedly conniving with some community individuals to grab school land for selfish interests.

According to Martin Oloya Lwinya, the SMC chairperson of the school, the school will take long to stabilise because both teachers and pupils were traumatised.

“The situation has gone out of hand. The government should come to our rescue.” Lwinya said.

Attempts to get a comment from Moses Otimong, the Soroti municipal town clerk remained futile by press time as his known contacts were unavailable.

Teachers speak out

“I have lost sh150,000 in the house during this eviction. It will take some time for me to recover from this stress.” John Asinge, one of the aggrieved teachers said.

Simon Opio, a teacher of mathematics said that he fears for his life since the community is involved in the eviction yet their children are studying in the same school.

 upils of amba primary school help their teacher to carry a mattress to a classroom after the eviction hoto by mmanuel pio Pupils of Pamba primary school help their teacher to carry a mattress to a classroom after the eviction. Photo by Emmanuel Opio.

 

The genesis

The plaintiffs filed a case in court after their brothers allegedly sold two plots of land in contention, to Soroti Municipal council without their consent.

According to the suit, the plaintiffs claimed that the land was given to them by their late father, William Engwedu.

The defendants claimed that Soroti municipal council paid about sh40m for the two plots of land. The civil suit also affects part of the school playground, according to the plaintiffs.

The matter has been in court since 2014.

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