Court orders eviction of Serere district local gov't out of contested 150-acre land

Court orders eviction of Serere district local gov't out of contested 150-acre land
Trees cut on Omiat's land

The High Court in Soroti has made a critical additional order in the 150-acre contested Serere land involving Serere District Local Government and human rights activist, Moses Omiat.

The  fresh order is for Serere District Local Government to be evicted from  Omiat’s land and hand him vacant possession.

In its earlier orders, the same court declared  Omiat the rightful customary owner of the land located in Kasilo Village, Kamod Parish, Bugondo Sub-county in Serere District.

“…An eviction order is issued against all the defendants (Serere District Local Government and four others )from the suit land comprising over 150 acres of land,” ruled Justice Henry Peter Adonyo, whose fresh order was read out by deputy registrar of the court, Mr Hussein Ntalo Nasulu on April 15.

“The applicant (Omiat) is hereby directed to extract a fresh decree which reflects the above order which conveys the intention of this honorable court in its judgment HCCS No 10 of 2016; Omiat Moses Vs Serere District Local Government and four others.”

The issuance of the fresh order was after the initial orders of the court in July 2022, for unknown reasons, missed out the order to have Serere District Local government vacate the land in favour of Mr Omiat.

The protracted legal battle between Serere District Local Government and Mr Omiat started way back in 2016 when the latter petitioned the court, claiming to be the rightful owner of his family’s ancestral chunk of land.

After a long litigation spanning over six years, in 2022, Justice Adonyo ruled that Mr Omiat was the rightful owner of the land, having customarily inherited the same from his late father, George William Amolo .

Besides the eviction order against Serere District Local Government, the court has since ordered that it jointly with the four others; Atingu Joseph, Ejangu Stephen, Okoja Sostine, and Olinga Calvin compensate Mr Omiat with Shs200 million for having illegally encroached on his land.

Further orders of the court are against Serere District Local Government to single-handedly compensate Omiat with Shs70milion  for cutting his valuable trees in the land over time that they have been using to make charcoal and bricks, thereby benefiting economically.

The court also awarded the human rights defender Shs50m as exemplary damages coupled with the issuance of a permanent order against Serere District Local Government not to set foot on Mr Omiat’s land.

Speaking to Nile Post earlier today, Omiat claimed that  despite the orders of the court, his trees have continued to be cut for charcoal and bricks.

He also claims that his people who stay on the land, have often been attacked, assaulted, and the torching of their houses.

He avers that despite reporting to the area police about the criminal trespass and destruction of his property by people believed to be from the district, the police is reluctantly willing to come to his rescue.

Omiat also claims there are big shots in the government who are actually behind the trespass and that they are merely using Serere District Local government as a cover-up.

In the case, Omiat was represented by Kania Renato of M/s Kania, Alli & Advocates & Solicitors.

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