MP Alobo dares suspected encroachers making fresh claims on public school land

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MP Alobo dares suspected encroachers making fresh claims on public school land
Moru-Apesur school land is being claimed by encroachers

Soroti City Woman MP Joan Alobo has warned a group of people claiming land belonging to a public school in the eastern city in Teso.

Ms Alobo has promised to fence the entire premises of Moru-Apesur primary school to stave off repeated encroachment.

“This is totally bad and highly unacceptable," MP Alobo told a community baraza at the school on Saturday.

"No one should shamelessly claim the land belonging to the school at the watch of the public and leaders,” she added.

The Saturday meeting heard that over 75 plots of land belonging to Moru-Apesur Primary School in Moru-Apesur Ward in Soroti City East is being claimed by squatters.

MP Joan Alobo has urged the public to stand tall and fight off encroachment on public school land

Moru-Apesur is among several schools in the region whose land is being claimed by encroachers.

An for Moru-Apesur, it is not the first time.

In 2016, one Lawrence Olinga and 27 others dragged Moru-Apesur and Soroti Municipal Council to court claiming the school land.

The case was dismissed on October 4, 2022, by Justice Henry Peter Adonyo of the Soroti High Court, on the grounds that the plaintiffs were sitting tenants on the land at Kigandani Cell, Moru-Apesur Ward.

But that has not stopped more people from making their claims for the public land.

Mr Moses Ecuru, chairman of the Parents, Teachers Sssociation, said the school is highly vulnerable to the tycoons conniving with a section of city council staff to parcel off swathes of its plots.

“The school has continued receiving threats from those encroaching land, they now claim a total of 75 plots including the playground," Ecuru said.

"It beats the mind how these people acquired title deeds to public land, school land,” he added.

Moru-Apesur Primary School was founded in 1990 by Cuthbert Joseph Obwangor, former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in the government of Apollo Milton Obote.

The school started operating in June 1991 with an aim of providing education to thousands of the internally displaced children of Teso Sub – region who had settled at different suburbs of Soroti during the insurgency from early 1986 up to 1996.

The school also played a pivotal role in hosting people displaced by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels of Joseph Kony between 2001 and 2004.

Mr Tom Ewoku, a resident of Moru-Apesur Cell, said some of the IDPs who took shelter on the school land have ended up claiming part of it.

“As a resident who grew up here, I am so shocked to notice that the same people who settled in the school when we were pupils in this school have shamelessly claimed the land,” he said.

MP Alobo, fondly called as "Arrow Girl" in this part of the country, is determined to make her moniker count as she joined the public in protesting and fighting off the suspected encroachers.

“I am aware of the government schools in Soroti City, including Nakatunya, Pamba, and Swaria primary schools, have lost their land to such invaders," she said.

"I have raised these reports with the Ministry of Education and Sports and we are ganging up to uproot all of them and have the schools recover their land.”

Ms Alobo called on the public to stand with the school to have its land recovered and properly planned for.

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