President Yoweri Museveni

President Museveni yesterday told residents and Opposition leaders in Amuru District to boycott sugar consumption if they are still opposed to the establishment of sugar factories in the district.
Taking a rather ‘bold’ step for the first time to defend the government proposal to amend the new Land Act [1998], the President said a section of politicians have already began saying that the law is targeted to grab land in Amuru District.

Recently, the Lands minister, Ms Betty Amongi, said government will bring to Parliament an amendment to the Land Act (1998) that will ease government takeover of private land for national development projects.
The proposal faced criticism from many politicians within Acholi sub-region who termed it as a new approach to grab land in the region.
“When government brings good ideas that fasten infrastructure development like road construction, they say I want to grab land,” the President said.
He added: “I want to upgrade Acholi to the standards of districts like Jinja.”

Defending government’s intentions to establish a sugar factory in the district, the President said a survey carried out by ‘scientists’ showed that the land in Amuru District was fertile for sugarcane growing.
“There are sugar factories in Kinyara, Kakira and Lugazi, do you think there were no people to resist the proposals and defend their land?” President Museveni said.
“If ill minded politicians in Amuru District are opposing sugar growing yet they use it, they should then boycott it. Let them pass a resolution for five years that no Acholi will use sugar,” the President added.
The President made the remarks while campaigning for NRM flag bearers for Omoro District Woman MP, Ms Catherine Lamwaka, and the LC5 chairperson, Mr Stephen Odong Latek, on Thursday ahead of the August 29 by election.
The Kilak County MP, Gilbert Olanya, when contacted in telephone interview to comment on the President’s remarks, he said the President should also tell people in other areas who refused to give their land to Madhvani Group of Companies to do the same.
“We have never opposed establishment of sugar factories in our area. There is one sugar factory already whose proprietor approached the locals directly,” Mr Olanya said.
The government and residents in the district have been fighting over land giveaway to Madhvani Group of Companies for establishment of a sugar factory on a 40,000 hectares piece of land in Lakang village.
Omoro Woman MP race has attracted eight candidates, Ms Grace Pamela Lanyero (DP) and Marie Lapolo Shaka (UPC), Ms Betty Lalam, Ms Santa Okot, Ms Christine Atimango, Ms Rose Nyapolo, Ms Alice Aneno Oroma and Ms Alice Latigo Akello all independents.
The district chairperson contestants are Mr Simon Toolit (FDC), Mr Godfrey Oryem and Douglas Peter Okello all independents.