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High Court settles boundary contention in Soroti city

Soroti town council headquarters. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | High Court in Soroti has finally delivered its verdict on the contentious administrative boundaries of the newly created Soroti city. Residents and political leaders have been embroiled in a boundary dispute that has lasted for months after Soroti was elevated to a city status in July this year.

The contention forced residents led by Michael Enyangu Etadu, Robert Onanyang, Stephen Erienyu, Patrick Ejelu and Brian Omoding to seek legal redress after it emerged that some politicians had intentionally altered the boundaries to serve their political interests.

The areas under contention included Aloet, Arapai, Opiyai and Orwadai wards, which had been annexed to Soroti city East. But in his ruling on Thursday, Justice Wilson Musalu Musene, reverted the said wards to Soroti city West on grounds that they had erroneously been included by the Local Government Minister Raphael Magezi.

Magezi, who was seen in the company of Soroti Municipality MP, Herbert Edmund Ariko, who is now vying for the Soroti city East parliamentary seat has been on the spotlight for allegedly siding with some politicians to alter the boundaries to favour them where they enjoy mass support.

Paul Menya, one of the lawyers in the case says that court decision will now help candidates to peacefully canvass for votes in the gazetted areas. He notes that much as the Electoral Commission had opposed the decision to have the matter heard by High Court, their argument was overruled.

Parliament and the Soroti district council had approved the mentioned areas as part of Soroti West. But the local government ministry issued a letter indicating that the said locations are part of Soroti East.

The case has been in court since September 18th, 2020.

William Opolot, a resident of Aloet who was among tens of the residents affected by the boundary alteration says the ruling will now clear the confusion in the area.

He adds that even politicians have been in total confusion.



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