Paramount Chief of Acholi Rwot Onen David Acana II
The Acholi Cultural Institution (Ker Kwaro Acholi) has banned unregulated land sales in the area following the alarming disputes and environmental destruction. Rwot David Onen Acana II, the Paramount of Acholi told URN that this is a resolution by the council of elders of the cultural institutions, which constitute the 57 sub-chiefdoms of Acholi.
Rwot Acana II explained that the council of elders has abolished the sale of land beyond 50 acres and land transactions from 10 acres and above must be authorized by the Chiefdom upon deep interrogation. He noted that the sale of land beyond 10 cares requires the council of elders to ascertain the reasons leading to the deal, the nature of the dealings, what the money would be used for, and ownership of the land among others.
“I made a pronouncement that no land beyond 50 acres should be sold, and if it`s beyond 10 acres it must be handled by the cultural institution so that we can know why you are selling it because all these problems people claim to be selling land to solve will never end. Whether being sickness, death, or education, it will never end or stop.’’
Over the weekend Rwot Acana II told the community of Pader district and Payira Clansmen that the unregulated land dealings have perpetrated crimes, insecurity, and conflicts, and brought bad elements into the area.
He told them that selling off the land would not solve the problems that they say perpetrated their decisions to sell off the land adding that there need to be permanent solutions. Ochora Ocitti, the Prime Minister of Payira Clan added that the land in Acholi is communally owned and should not be abused and lost by fraudulent actions of self-seekers.
He added that losing land threatens the growing population of the people and economic activities as well as the sense of belonging. Sunday Opiyo, a resident of Kalili in Laguti Sub County in the Pader district has welcomed the idea noting that some people are selling off land in the area to foreigners for as low as 50,000 Shillings.
According to the cultural elders, the unregulated land sale has led to moral decadence, domestic violence, violent land disputes, and illegal trading in forest products in the area which is perpetrated by the said land buyers.