Alur King slaps ban on sale of kingdom land by clan chiefs

The Alur King Philip Olarker Rauni III has issued a decree prohibiting clan chiefs from overseeing sale of kingdom land.

The decree was announced during the third Council of Chiefs meeting at Jukia Hill in Nebbi Municipality on Tuesday.

This declaration comes at a time when the Kingdom is grappling with unregulated and rampant land sales to investors and businesspersons, often under the supervision of clan chiefs. This has led to numerous land disputes and conflicts within the kingdom.

According to King Olarker, it is unfortunate that the very chiefs who are supposed to safeguard kingdom land are deeply involved in what he said was its illegal sale, and said the practice must cease immediately. He emphasized that the prevailing high poverty levels should not drive the chiefs and their subjects to sell their land, which is their most valuable asset.

“I want all the chiefs to prioritize the protection of land in their areas. I understand that many of us are living in poverty, but my duty as the king is to ensure the protection of all my people and our land, which is our primary source of livelihood,” stated Olarker.

Some of the areas where land grabbing is widespread within the Kingdom include Opano Panyigoro in Pakwach Sub County, Pakwach district, Padolo, Agule, and Acer in Nebbi district, and Patera in Atyak, Zombo district. Vincent Ochaya Orach, the Deputy Prime Minister of Alur Kingdom, attributes the chiefs’ involvement in land transactions to the high poverty levels. He explained that investors have taken advantage of the financial situation of the chiefs to purchase land.

Alur Kingdom is a hereditary traditional institution located in northwestern Uganda and the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

In Uganda, the Alur people primarily inhabit the districts of Zombo, Nebbi, Pakwach, and some parts of Arua city, while in the DRC, they reside mostly north of Lake Albert.