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Government Dragged to Court Over Aswa Ranch

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Concerned political and religious leaders from Acholi sub region have run to court challenging the presidential directive to lease out Aswa Ranch to private entities and persons as free public land.

The petitioners are retired Supreme Court Judge, Galdino Okello Moro, retired Bishop of Kitgum Diocese, Macleod Baker Ochola 2, former Government Chief Valuer, Livingstone Okello Okello, retired Teacher and member of Acholi Technical Team, Rosalba Oyaa and Centre for Public Interest Law Limited.

According to documents before the Constitutional Court, government is jointly sued with land boards from Agago, Kitgum, Amuru, Gulu, Lamwo, Nwoya, Omoro and Pader Districts.

The applicants are challenging among others the presidential directive to Ministry of Agriculture on June 9th 2017 to allocate Aswa ranch to 20 individuals including companies with capacity to breed Ankole long horned cattle and others who can invest in livestock farming.

Aswa Ranch is found in Pader District and measures about 105,400 hectares.

It is currently occupied by a number of companies and the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre – NAGRC, Banuti and Aswa Power Project.

The petitioners want the Constitutional Court to declare that the actions of the District Land Boards to lease customarily owned land in Acholi Sub region on the basis that it is public land is inconsistent with the customary land tenure and the proprietary rights guaranteed in the constitution.

Court has summoned government to file its defense.          

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