Amuria Clan leaders seek Minister’s intervention in their ‘grabbed’ land

A group of leaders from Immoratok Clan have petitioned Hon. Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of Lands , Housing and Urban Development seeking for her intervention in the matter where they accuse Orungo Catholic Church of grabbing their land located at Morungatuny in Ococia Parish, Morungatng Sub-County in Amuria District.

In their petition dated 28th May 2024, received by the Minsitry of Lands on 29th May 2024, the petitioners contend that in 1944, their fore fathers and fathers donated portions from their land (40 to 50 acres) to Orungo church to use it for its various purposes, however as time went on , the Church decided to act contrary to what was expected thus leading to this grievance.

“Upon receiving the donated land, the Church fenced it off and established a Church, Health Centre and Primary School on the same up to date. The Church and the Imoratok Clan had lived peacefully from 1944 until 2010 when Fr. Ipurale was transferred to the area. He started the process of survey, in surveying the land donated to the Church, he went beyond and encroached on all the neighboring families.”

That the encroached land was equivalent to about 60 hectares (140 acres)

“This survey was done without the consultation of the rightful neighbors of the land and the Area Land Committee also came up with the minutes without putting out notices of the intended survey to the neighbors. The Church then applied for a title at Amuria District Land Board and it was only then that the Petitioners got to know and filed a case vide Case No. 27 of 2014 at High Court of Uganda at Soroti.”

That later on court passed a judgement in favor of Catholic despite of the fact that the Judge didn’t visit the locus as required in law to determine the exact part of the land that was in contention.

“While the clan does not dispute having gifted the Church some land, the now being claimed by the Church is more by close to 100 acres and considered the suit land. However, the Court could not separate the gifted land from the land which was about 40-50 acres belonging to the lmoratok Clan and now the 60 hectares being claimed by the Church.”

It’s the petitioners’ contention that as a result of the above actions, a number of families are threatened by the Church evictions and are currently being intimidated by the Resident District Commander (RDC) and District Police Commander (DPC) who are arresting some of them as they cultivate their land despite of the existence of pending appeal in court.

Secondly, the matter of the boundary is not yet fully resolved. The Church is using the office of the RDC and DPC to grab land and displace the

Imoratok Clan members and will have nowhere else to go who have always derived their sustenance on the same since time immemorial.

The actions of the Church, the RDC and DPC are so high handed and the members of the Imoratok Clan no longer feel safe in, at and around their homes.


These have therefore requested the Minister to intervene and have the matter reviewed urgently through addressing a petition Chief Justice seeking to have the matter reviewed and addressed urgently.

“That Hon. Minister writes to the RDC, DPC and the Church to stop immediate Intimidation and harassment of the people of Imoratok Clan who utilizing their land and have always derived sustenance from the same.”

On top of that, they also want the Minister to write to the Commissioner Survey and Mapping seeking her to appoint a Surveyor to do a joint survey to ascertain the size of the donated and fenced off by the Church and the area encroached on.


The Clan leaders claim to have at all material time been the owners and occupants of different parcels of land situated at morungatuny sub- county now Ogolai sub- county, Ococia parish in Amuria District. Which land is held and owned under the customary practices in the area.

It was around 1944, when late Etengu Honorat (the father of one of the petitioners) granted permission to the catholic church to establish a church later health Centre and the primary school. On the land measuring approximately 50 Acres land belonging to the deceased honorat Etengu and in accordance to the customary practices of Imoratok Clan of the Iteso tribe to promote religious education and health activities in the area not Businesses/Free hold ownership.

However, around 2009/2010, The respondents/defendants in total abuse of the law, encroached on the Appellants/plaintiffs land by surveying additional land approximated 87 Acres to the benefits of a non-existent legal entity, called St. peters Canisius Catholic Church Orungo without any regard to the appellants/plaintiff interest and claims of ownership forcing the appellants/ plaintiffs to File this suit.

This was filed at the High Court of Uganda in Soroti where Court fraudulently gave its decision in favor of the Respondents and cleared wrongly/fraudulently the land to them. The Applicants were dissatisfied with the decision of the Low Court, hence this Appeal.

Customary tenure is recognized by Article 237 (3) of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda and section 2 of the land Act, Cap 227 as one of the four tenure systems of the land tenure regulated by customary rules which are limited in their operations to a particular description or class of persons.

It was in 2009/ 2010 when the Priest Fr. Ipurale Ocom Joseph and team, Cenisius/beginning of this matter drugged Imoratok Clan to the morungatuny sub – county L.C iii Court where some clan members were detained at morungatuny police.

Ekeu Joseph and his uncle Late Ekeu Okulu were among the people detained.

The LC.iii of Morungatuny Mr. Etolu Vincent and sub–county Area land committee threatened the clan members and forcefully planted sisal on a wrong land after receiving bribes from the church. The clan wrote to the Chairman Parish Council calling for a peaceful resolution over the matter as usually but all was abused as they always needed violence.









































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