For one week, Lango sub-region is engulfed with tense debates after the killing of Kole pupil, Dickens Okello, 11, by two Asian traders in the sub-region.
A number of efforts have been made, among them taming protests, comforting the bereaved family members, investigations, among others.
All these, specifically the police investigations and initial doctored postmortem reports into what and who killed the young boy have not satisfied any natives till now.
On Saturday, deadly protests emerged first from Dog-gudu in Alito sub-county after the burial of slain child.
It soon extended to Lira town, from where a number of properties were destroyed, among them breaking of glass windows of Letshego, a micro financial institution located on Oyam road, Lira town. These were done by angry locals.
Army and police had to be deployed to quell the situation. Broadcast was interrupted too as Radio Unity, 97.9 Fm was also shut down.
On Sunday morning, the Erute South MP, Jonathan Odur, an activist who is equally aggrieved with trending events in Lango sub-region, demanded that both RPC North Kyoga and Lira DPC step aside for thorough investigations and audit.
Below, the MP had this to say:
A wave of violence rocked Lira town on Saturday pitting the locals against a section of the Asian trading community in the town. It follows on from the increasingly volatile relationship between the Locals and Asian traders following a series of allegations of human rights abuses on the people of Lango by some Asians as highlighted below;
In 2013, an Asian boss in Mt. Meru factory was alleged to have gathered local workers at the factory into a room and urinated on them claiming he was “spraying cockroaches”. Police allegedly received huge sums of cash to shield the suspects from prosecution and to date nothing came of the case.
In 2015, some Asians allegedly assaulted and gang raped teenage girls working for them and despite call for prosecution, the Police allegedly received pay outs to protect the suspects and several other allegations of the same have been claimed but not a single case has ever seen the light of justice.
In 2018, Asians bosses at a local bakery in Lira allegedly assaulted and forced over 0.5kgs of red pepper powder (pilipili) into the anus of a 17 year old boy. Police shielded the suspects and instead framed a murder case on one of the clan heads (Opio Charles Olol) who was following up the matter and today he is in remand on fabricated allegations of murder to frustrate him from following the case.
Last week, two Asians allegedly murdered an 11 year old pupil, Dickens Okello (RIP) in Alito, Kole District and Police is allegedly at it again, shielding the Asians and claiming the deceased died of “heart failure” even before a Post Mortem was carried out and report was released.
A meeting of the most supreme leadership in Lango (Owitong) to discuss the tensions between Lango and Asians was unlawfully blocked by Police.
Police insisted on escorting the body of the late Dickens Okello even when their services was not required to the chagrin of the locals and they Police knew better the locals did not trust them anymore.
At the funeral in Alito, Police insisted to be included in the funeral program to address despite knowing the locals lost confidence in them as for this murder allegation.
In a twist of events at the funeral, Police found it ‘professional’ enough to fire live bullets at the mourners causing injuries (some claim death) of innocent mourners triggering eruptions of violence in Lira town that attracted sustained gunfire and army take over.
There are some few questions for now to be answered including;
What ills have the people of Lango done to deserve all this abuses by some Asians under the protective watch of the state?
Would any Lango survive and get all the state protection in Asia if they dare commit the same crimes that have been allegedly committed by some Asians on people of Lango?
Which kind of Government issues orders to security personal to protect foreigners first and leave its own citizens to be abused with impunity by the foreigners?
In the circumstances;
“I call on both parties to cease fire and exercise maximum restraint in dealing with the volatile situation
I demand that RPC and DPC step aside and an independent audit and investigations into the situation be carried out and those found to have acted contrary to the law be subjected to disciplinary measures.
I demand that all alleged crimes committed by the Asians are re-investigated and where culpability is found, the suspects be prosecuted in the courts of law and the people of Lango be informed.
I demand that Police refrains from unlawful blocking of religious, cultural and political leadership meetings in Lango and avoids hijacking the political, religious and cultural roles from those holding those positions legitimately.
I demand that all journalist arrested for covering the events be released unconditionally and media houses switched off unconstitutionally be switched on immediately in respect and promotion of freedom of the press.
Finally, a meeting of key stakeholders including government ministers, security personal, religious, political and cultural leadership is convened with Indian leadership to sort out issues causing the deterioration in relationship between the two communities.
NOTE: We had Asians in Lango way before this wave of violence and Lango have hosted and co existed peacefully with all other tribes/races including Asians in the past decades. There is something fundamentally wrong at the moment that needs a conversation and police should restrict themselves to keeping law and order but not doing politics and forcing themselves onto spaces not meant for them.
For God and My Country.