By Stephen Enatu
Over one hundred Iteso who were carried from Teso to Abim to vote in the early morning hours of 14th January 2021 have been left to suffer from hunger and stranded in Opopongo Sub County, Abim District.
The 100 are part of the 16,000 Iteso who were living in Abim District but fraudulently evicted under influence of a fake investor through the Member of Parliament for Labuor County Michael Ayepa. This revelation was later made by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit.
The Iteso who had lived in Moru Lo gwangat land covering 24 villages and 7 parishes were evicted around 15th-27th December 2019 by Uganda wildlife Authority through the command of Captain Charles Okhuta on a false claim that they were occupying the game reserve.
According to Vincent Ochen, the Executive Director Sugur Development Agency, the stranded Iteso were collected in Soroti from various districts of Teso on the 13th January 2021 before they were transported to Abim in a truck allegedly hired by one of the candidates.
He said they were registered voters in the area before being evicted.
“Over one hundred of them are now stranded, they have not eaten, no transport and besides that the area MP Michael Ayepa who lost in the just concluded election is threatening them by mobilizing the Karimojong warriors against them,” Ochen said.
Siraji Okello, one of the victims picked from Serere said they reached the polling station and finished voting but to their dismay, the vehicles that were hired to transport them back to their respective homes set off leaving them since there was a security threat.
“Honorable Ayepa who was one of the candidates threatened the drivers who were meant to take people back to places like Ngora, Kaberamaido, Serere and other places with soldiers and they left us, now we are here stranded,” Okello said.
They say their lives are under threat from Karimaojong warriors.
The Resident District commissioner Abim, Hashaka Samuel Mpimbaza refuted the allegation that he transported the voters.
He said the voters had a right to vote their right leaders but he does not know how they reached there.