Aruu county Member of Parliament Odonga Otto has confirmed being beaten by fellow MP (Kilak North County) Anthony Akol on Thursday afternoon at parliament.
Otto who is currently admitted at Nakasero Hospital and claims he is okay, all smiles and out of danger.
“The doctors at Nakasero have told me I have a slight tissue injury, slight swell in my right eye but I am okay and ready to work,” Otto said on phone.
“What the world needs to know is that today, Hon Akol Anthony, the MP of Kilak County assaulted me by punching me in the right eye, but I am not shocked because this has a background,” he added.
Otto conceded that he was in Akol’s constituency in Amuru over the weekend, where he made pronouncements that the area MP (Akol) had received Shs300m.
“I was in his district together with other MPs and I raised the issue of the Madhivani land in Lakang. Our position as Acholi parliamentary group is that we are willing to lease the land for a short time and not an outright sale. However, Akol and the LC5 chairperson went and picked over Shs300m and this I raised in front of the voters.,” Otto said.
“So today Akol said we should have a meeting. So while we sat in the lobby next to each other, he asked me what I had said in Amuru, I told him exactly what I told the votes that he picked over shs300m for sale of public land,” he added.
Otto claimed that in the presence of other MPs, Akol lost his head and started punching him, then he sprinted inside the chambers. But he claims what he said was the truth.
“This is not decampaigning, it is outright truth. I want to use this opportunity to inform the government that there is no land for sale in Acholi, but short leases. I have raised this with the president, if the government wants to invest in Acholi they should not use force or invest politically and if they insist, then this regime will go with that mistake,” Otto vowed.
According to Otto, his colleague Akol will pay for his sins by not returning to parliament for he has betrayed the people.
“Akol is on the wrong and as members of Acholi we are doing everything it takes to get new members of parliament in these positions who can speak for the people but not fill their pockets with money.”
Otto said that he did not fight back when Akol struck because he is civil and besides, there is no way he would win a physical fight with Akol, whom he says is half the size of an elephant.
“I did not fight back and wouldn’t do so. He is half the size of an elephant. It is very uncivilized to fight in parliament. The eye-opener is that our enemies are within,” he added.
“The future of Akol is over, he is now a future former MP. He can use his last year in parliament well. He is a traitor and cant be trusted.”
He insisted he would follow the matter until MP Akol is taken to the disciplinary committee and would record a statement.
This is the second time MPs are engaging in a fistfight at parliament. In september 2017 Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga and Ayivu county MP Benard Atiku fought after Abiriga reportedly insulted Atiku as stupid for having called him a Congolese national.
According to Abiriga, Atiku called him a Congolese national during one of the Onduparaka FC football matches. The two were separated by parliament police.
The Amuru land issue is a contentious one and has been a source of conflict for the last decade and over.
The land, which is located south of the Zoka Forest in Amuru District, Acholi sub-region, and approximately 130Kms north-west of Gulu Town became subject of dispute when Madhvani Group tried to secure at least 10000 hectares to establish a sugar factory in the north.
Otto has time and again accused politicians of involving in under able cut deals with Madhvani and government to push for the take over of the said land.