A tripartite meeting involving government technocrats, West Nile, and Acholi leaders has been summoned by President Yoweri Museveni for Friday 10, September to decide on the Apaa land conflict and will be supported by Satellite images taken in 1984 before the war and colonial boundaries to resolve the issue for good.
“My appeal is don’t be impatient. Don’t be like a woman who delivered at 8 months and threw away the baby instead of waiting for nine months. It caused problems because the baby was not ready. I don’t like the idea of just implementation without further discussion. Why not have a joint discussion between West Nile, Acholi and us and we conclude together. The facts are there. Why not have one more tripartite meeting? I don’t want to spoil relations,” he said.
The President was yesterday responding to a presentation by Hon. Ababiku Jesca (Adjumani District) on behalf of leaders and elders from the West Nile Region who wanted the President to make a decision on the Apaa land conflict and protested what they described as a delayed implementation of government decisions. The meeting was held at State House Entebbe.
“These cross-border settlements are not a problem, just quarrelling for nothing. If I come and build a house in Madi Okoro legally can you chase me? You can live anywhere as long as you do it legally. Rather than raising these temperatures, let’s have one more meeting and resolve this. Facts are here, it is just the public relations that are a problem. Focus on the facts. Nothing is hidden, everything is in the open.
Colonial maps are there, satellite pictures are here. By end of next week, let’s have a tripartite meeting here with technocrats from the Lands Ministry, surveyors, satellite pictures before 1984 for both Apaa and Zooka so that we resolve this,” he said.
The President said a decision was delayed because the country was going into an election and getting busy but that now it is time to settle the matter.
He told both the West Nile and Acholi Delegation that met him earlier that there are satellite pictures that will be used as was the case for Zooka Forest.
“In 1984, the pictures show that there was nobody in Zooka and all those areas. Now Zooka has been encroached on. You don’t have to develop blood pleasure. I never get worried because am for the truth, nothing to hide. If there were ancient inhabitants of these areas, this will be answered by these pictures. All our eyes will see pictures and dates,” he said.
The President said the issue of boundaries and gazetting land will also be resolved.
Responding to the delegations’ issues on wealth creation through study tours, infrastructure development in the new districts, and appointments, the President welcomed the idea of empowering communities to create wealth in the households.
“What will help our people is household incomes. That’s what I want leaders to understand. If you want people to get out of poverty help them with their own household income. An English man’s home is his castle. I want all Africans in their homes to be like kings, have money and wealth in their homes. When one of your relatives is an ambassador or a minister, you don’t sleep in his house, you sleep in yours and he does not solve your problems,” he said.
The President however disagreed with the idea of a model farm in each district and said model farms will be put in each zone together with industrial hubs for jobs and wealth creation.
He also pledged to prioritize infrastructure development especially roads at the borders and agreed to the idea of fish farms in the valleys that can employ youth.
The Minister of State for Education and Sports (Primary Education) Dr. Joyce Kaducu Moriku and the Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs (Veteran Affairs) Hon. Huda Abason Oleru also attended the meeting.