78year old Acaye Oola is a resident of Amuru town council Amuru district. Acaye acquired one hundred acres of land way back in1978 before Amuru was accorded a district status. However in 1996 when the Lord’s Resistance Army waged an armed rebellion in the Northern Uganda including Acaye’s home district of Amuru. The entire community was confined in internally displaced people’s camps for two decades.
After the insurgency, it was time for resettling communities back to their former pieces of land. But this process was not applicable for Acaye because upon returning to his former land, he was shocked to discover that his entire 100acres of land had been grabbed by a local businessman.
Acaye had no option but to remain residing in the IDP camp under harsh conditions. Acaye has made several efforts to seek for justice both at traditional and formal judicial system but crippled by poverty.
For two years now Acaye has been involved in land legal battles with no sign disposing the case soon. The long wait and the costs involved in attaining justice is resulting in Acaye’s lose of faith.
“My land was grabbed by a businessman who can afford services of a lawyer as opposed to me. Besides reporting to Gulu high court requires me to part with at least thirty thousand shillings which I do not have, I therefore do not have faith in the judicial system.” Laments Acaye.
Acaye is expected to further transport witnesses to Gulu court in order to prove his ownership before the judge. But this is far from being a dream for Acaye and therefore even if he is the rightful owner of the land it may be hard to reclaim it under his current poverty status.