By Jane Nambi
President of Democratic Party (DP), Norbert Mao was held hostage together with two Italian investors in Amuru district last week after they went to inspect the land in the area.
Mao had gone to survey 7, 800 hectares of land which is currently occupied by 300 households which they are planning on putting up a ranching scheme according to John Omaya who claims the land is his.
Residents of Gunya Village in Amuru District last week armed with bows and arrows, spears and machetes, accused Mao and the Italians of failure to consult them before surveying their land. His clothes, belongings and were stripped of Mr. Mao who was found bare foot by the officer in-charge of Atiak Police Station, Mr Andrew Abal. “I met the Bazungu (white people) driving madly in the bush. When they saw me, they stopped but Mao was bare footed, dressed in only a vest.”
Mr Abal identified the Italian investors as Mr. Laifredh Soyiokom and Mr Maurizio Dioli who are agricultural consultants from Nanyuki in Kenya. Mao was blamed for the violence from the residents by the Gunya chairperson, Mr James Omona who said, “He is lucky he survived.”
Mao reacted to the violence while appearing on a local radio station in Gulu District on Saturday saying, “It’s very unfortunate that the Atiak traditional leader, Mr Santo Apire, and NRM chairperson of Atyak incited the people against us,” Mr Mao said.