MOROTO – The communities of Rupa Sub County in Moroto District in Karamoja sub-region have accused their leaders of shifting away from their intended role of serving the community and now turned to connive with purported investors to grab land from the community.
In the hottest meeting that turned ruddy held in Lorukumo village in Rupa sub-county on Thursday 24, the community accused Mr. Dan Apolo the sub-county LC3 chairperson, sub-county Chief Mr. Godfrey Lotuk, John Bosco Logwee the sub-county chairman area land committee who are also doubles as members of Rupa community development trust (RUCODET) for grabbing land.
They are demanding for immediate transfer of the sub-county chief Mr. Godfrey Lotuk and promised vote of no confidence against the LC3 chairperson.
They also accuse the sub-county chairperson and the sub-county chief of only concentrating on allocating land to investors forgetting their office responsibilities.
Mr. Philip Lokol, one of the residents said the sub-county leaders formed their own association without consulting the community and named it Rupa Community development trust (RUCODET) that works with investors to grab land from the community.
“They claimed the Trust works to represent the community to demand for compensation when investors comes to the area but what we are seeing is that our leaders are using that Trust to give a green light to investors to pay themselves not the community,” he said.
LC 1 chairperson Paul Lokeris of Lonyesen village demanded that the sub-county Chief Mr. Godfrey Lotuk be transferred because he can’t be a treasurer as well as sub-county adding that he has forgotten his work as a sub-county chief.
“When you look at the members of this Trust it’s within the sub-county officials nobody from the community that’s why they are dealing with land grabbers, Mr. Dan Apolo the LC 3 chairperson Rupa is doubling as chairperson of the Trust, Mr. Godery Lotuk is a sub count chief and also doubles as a treasury of the trust, Mr. John Bosco Logewe is the sub-county chairman area land committee as well as a member of the Trust, Ms Prisca Nakiru is a councilor and the wife to Mr. Logwe also the member of the trust, this the conflict of interest,” he said.
The accused officials dodged the meeting despite getting an invitation from the Member of Parliament for Matheniko County Mr. John Baptist Lokii on behalf of the aggrieved communities.
The community also demanded accountability of shs1.8billion that Sunbelt Company paid to the trust through the community lawyer Mr. Geoffrey Ojok under his law firm Gem Advocates before grabbing 3.3 square miles of community land.
The aggrieved community also demanded an explanation on how the lawyer took shs480million out of 1.8billion paid by Sunbelt.
Mr. Godfrey Lotuk the sub-county chief said the meeting was politically organized by political failures and that he does not have much to say.
Mr. Dan Apolo the LC3 chairperson of Rupa when contacted told PML daily that the meeting was politically organized and requested to be given humble time to respond