Trade embargo: Lira district bans foreign traders from traveling to villages

These two Indian cotton traders are accused of killing Kole pupil. They are on remand. File photo.

Lira district council has passed a resolution prohibiting Indian nationals [any foreign traders] from making it to rural villages with the motive of doing business.

This was one of the key resolutions agreed upon during the district council meeting held Friday.  The council strongly debated the controversial issue of foreign investors in the district.

The resolution stemmed from the deteriorating security situation in the district in recent weeks after the sudden death of 11 year old boy of Alito sub-county in Kole district.

It is suspected that Dickens Okello was killed by two Indian nationals who were traversing villages searching for cotton. The two suspects have been remanded to Soroti government prison by Lira Grade One Magistrate’s Court.

Majority of the councilors among them Richard Omara Awio of Railway division noted that government has failed to regulate the activities of the “so called” foreign investors.

“We need to know and clearly define who an investor is and what business they are doing,” Omara told council.

Other councilors like Jefferson Obalim – Central division said: “Local businessmen have been put out of the market because these investors have reached a point of retailing goods.”

It was then a unanimous decision by the council that the Indian nationals be banned from going into villages to help ease the current tension that has been brewing between the local community and the Indian nationals for many months.

However, Milton Odongo, the Lira Resident District Commissioner is opposed to the move by the council on grounds that the resolution is not backed by any law and that it contravenes on their [Indian] rights of free movement.

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