By Teso Vibez Reporter
The section of Iteso community living in Abim District are excited to go back to their land after the high court in Soroti granted a temporary injunction to allow them to use their land until the main application is heard.
Soroti High Court yesterday the 13th April 2022 granted a temporal injunction stopping Uganda Wildlife Authority from evicting over 2000 Iteso from Abim district.
The judgment which elicited jubilation from the victims who had actually earlier been evicted by UWA under the command of one Captain Charles Okhuta was delivered by Soroti Chief Magistrate, Aanyu on behalf of Hon. Justice Dr. Henry Adonyo.
Solomon Oriada Aloysius and 2000 others petitioned the high court through their advocate, Engoru Mutebi seeking a temporal injunction on UWA’s decision to evict the Iteso from their land.
He said that they were fraudulently evicted yet the land in question said to be belonging to UWA is their land, which they own land titles and agreements of buying.
The injunction stops UWA and its agents from evicting the applicants (Iteso), the deployment of Game Rangers on the land, and arresting applicants for criminal trespass until the lead suit is disposed of.
Vincent Ocen the Director Sugur Development Agency (SDA), a local organization that offered pro bono service to the victims said that the matter has not been easy though justice has been offered to them.
Over 16000 Iteso were evicted by UWA under the command of captain Okhuta on allegations that they were occupying the game reserve.
Some of the victims who spoke to this reporter said they are going back to re-occupy their land and make good use of it during the current planting season.
The alleged unlawful eviction of the Iteso from Abim was first done on December 15th -27th 2019 and the second on the 10th Feb 2021 by UWA game rangers led by Captain Charles Okhuta on false allegations that they were occupying the game reserve land.
During the eviction, women were allegedly raped, houses destroyed, and gardens of crops by the rangers.
The Iteso who had lived in Morulokwang land covering 24 villages and 7 parishes lost properties worth billions according to Simon Okiror Aloysius Oriada, one of the evictees.