By Denis Okello (email@example.com)
Leaders of Karamoja sub region want president Museveni to consider granting amnesty to some of the inmates who escaped from Moroto government prison in order to restore peace and security in Karamoja and neighboring areas.
In September 2020, 224 inmates escaped from Moroto Prison in Moroto district after overpowering warders and accessing the armory where guns were being kept and some guns were reportedly stolen by the inmates.
Yesterday, a section of Karamoja leaders met President Yoweri Museveni at Baralegi State Lodge in Otuke district where a number of proposals were suggested to restore peace and security in Karamoja and the surrounding areas.
Peter Abraham Lokii, the Jie County member of parliament in Kotido district who presented on behalf of the Karamoja leaders said inmates who escaped from Moroto prison are greatly blamed for the rising insecurity in the area because they are not interested in coming out of their hideouts for fear of being imprisoned for the offenses they were initially imprisoned for; calling upon the president to grant amnesty to the inmates so that they can abandon criminal activities like cattle raids.
Lokii also asked president Museveni to direct the release of all suspects who were arrested by security for no serious reasons during the wave of insecurity because some of the suspects were arrested innocently when they were found in Karamojong famous kitenge dress, those holding sticks while others who were arrested from markets unjustifiably.
In addition, Lokii asked the president to ensure the government stocks enough iron sheets at Kaboong army barracks to be used by local leaders to persuade raiders to surrender guns in exchange for iron sheets.
According to Lokii, the government should also come up with a program where all school going children are given compulsory, free education.
Bishop Simon Akol Aisu of North Karamoja asked the government to conduct a thorough investigation to ascertain the sources of guns used in raids because some could be coming from government barracks and tracking their sources would enable government deal with the problem from the source.
The LC V of Kaabong district Lote Paul Komol urged president Museveni to compensate lost lives and those whose animals were stolen.
President Museveni while responding to the above issues said he is willing to have the young people of Karamoja get better and safe livelihoods like constructing dams for livestock and agricultural purposes.
Museveni noted that Karamoja is not a desert as someone people think because they also receive rains usually and therefore, it is advisable that they devise mechanisms of storing running water for future use during dry season.
He revealed that the government would support individual farmers to dig dams for irrigation and livestock rearing using government equipment only for those who are willing to fuel the equipment.