Amuru Community signs agreement with Government for Sugar Factory Development; President says that land is for production not for settlement and mere prestige

Tuesday 13th January 2015
State House PPU

An agreement has been signed between the Government of Uganda and the Lamogi community of Lamogi Sub-County of Kilak County in Amuru district to withdraw the pending case in the court of appeal and pave the way for the establishment of a new sugar factory in Lamogi sub-county by the Madhvani Group of Companies.

The signing ceremony that was witnessed by President Yoweri Museveni took place yesterday at the President’s country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhuura district. The Attorney General, Mr. Peter Nyombi represented the government while Mr. Jackson Obalim and over sixty other members of the Lamogi community, signed on behalf of their people.

The Government and the Lamogi community of Lamogi sub-county in Kilak county, Amuru district have been engaged in a court battle after the government of Uganda allocated some piece of land in the area to the Madhvani Group to establish a sugar factory.

The people of Lamogi petitioned the High Court in Gulu to stop the government from allocating the land for the factory but the Court ruled in favour of the government making them appeal in the Court of Appeal where the case was pending.

However, after years of engagement and negotiation between the government and the Lamogi community, the community has agreed to withdraw the court case and pave way for the construction of the multi-million sugar factory in Amuru district in Northern Uganda.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, President Muusveni regretted that because of the disagreements and court battle, the time has been lost and the sugar factory project has stalled as the project would be in its final stages by now. He, however, congratulated the Lamogi community for finally agreeing to embracing the government call to support industrialization which, he said, was the only way forward to develop Uganda.

He told the delegation that the sugar industry will have multiple advantages to Lamogi as the neighboring community will produce sugarcane and supply the factory as out growers, generate employment for the community, have infrastructure extended to the area and attract a large working force that will be a source of market for all the produce that the Lamogi community will produce on top of producing more sugar for the growing Ugandan population and for export.

He said that it was uncalled for to block any well intentioned production factory from Uganda in the name of protecting land because land is a factor of production which should be utilized to generate income for the betterment of humanity. He noted that Uganda cannot be part of the modern world if it does not industrialize.

“What is the use of clan land if you can’t use it to generate income for the good of the clan members? Land is for production not for settlement and mere prestige. Our clans have had land over centuries amidst poverty and this can’t go on like this”, he emphasized.

“Our clans, culture and heritage are good and need to be protected but we should bear in mind the demands of the changing world that is modern and developing so that we are not left behind. Our ancestors were left behind in the industrial revolution and this resulted in them being colonized and being subjected to slavery,” he added.

Regarding the disputed boundaries between Amuru district and Adjumani district, President Museveni said the government surveyors will only come to solve the dispute by opening the old boundaries of the West Nile district and Acholi district that were drawn and left behind by the colonial government. He, however, said that since every Ugandan was free to stay in any district in the country, the boundaries are for administrative purposes.

The Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, said that the signed agreement put into consideration compensation of the affected communities, shareholding in the incoming factory, putting into consideration the Amuru people and sensitization of the community on the importance of the project.

Mr. Obalim Jackson, the Chairman of the Lamogi community, commended President Museveni for supporting and initiating the dialogue that will eventually lead to the establishment of the factory in their area which, he said, will shape the destiny of the people of Amuru. He assured the President that the Lamogi community will cooperate with government and the investors for the success of the project and described the signing of the agreement as the beginning of the new era in Lamogi.

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