Chaos broke out last evening in Amuru district and ended in the arrest of Aruu County MP Odonga Otto, who led a group of naked protesters to accost a team of officials from the Lands Ministry.
Odonga and his group were protesting the Ministry’s move to survey the land, located south of the Zoka forest, where a sugar factory is planned for construction.
Police escorting the team led by Lands Minister Betty Amongi, used teargas canisters and live ammunition to disperse the protesters. Some people including a minor were injured in the scuffle according to reports.
The bare-chested women and MP Otto surrounded the minister’s vehicle and dared her to come out. They advised to go and give away land in her own Lango sub region and leave Acholi land alone.
The minister was advised by her team to, and she did retreat from the protesters who had blocked the road with burning logs.
MP Ottoo was arrested and taken away in what the area RPC Bosco Otim said was to protect him.
The contentious land, according to Minister Amongi was freely given out by over 100 owners, for construction of the sugar plant.
But local politicians, mostly legislators, on learning of the impending land survey, hatched a plan to stop it. Security, according to reports, was aware of this plot and kept an eye on MPs Gilbert Oulanya and Lucy Akello.
Daily monitor reports however, that the duo remained in sight Gulu and worked as a decoy for MPs Otto and Lucy Achiro to sneak into Amuru and mobilize the protesters.
Minister Amongi says the protesters were ferried by the MPS from Apaa, Lakang and Keyo.
Some leaders in Acholi including DP President Norbert Mao support the sugar project which is expected to create up to 8000 jobs and help develop the area.
But MP Otto and his group, say the 10000 hectares of land for the sugar plant is being grabbed from the locals.
Former spy chief David Pulkol says the sugar plant should not be forced into the people of Amuru, unless Madhivani is willing to allow the profits to be shared with the residents per kilo of sugar.
“Why are you forcing our citizens to surrender their land and their only inheritance to you and your privileged thieves?” he wondered.
Minister Amongi however insists that the land survey will proceed as planned.