Uganda: ‘You Are Not a Thief If You Steal From a Thief,’ CJ Dollo Backs Odonga Otto Over Illegal Charcoal Dealers

Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny- Dollo has lambasted the Local Governments and the police for frustrating former Aruu County Member of Parliament Odonga Otto’s campaign against illegal charcoal dealers.

According to Dollo, the different stakeholders who are supposed to support Otto to save the environment are instead arresting him while protecting those destroying the environment.

Otto was recently arrested for aggravated robbery after he was accused of leading a mob to beat to steal money, vandalize a vehicle and severely injure three charcoal businessmen; Charles Ssemanda, Yusuf Wagwana, and Takafa Erisata in Atanga Sub-County, Pader District.

Otto denied the allegations arguing that he has been out of the Acholi Sub-region for the past two weeks, adding that the police and other officials in government need to be investigated for conniving with illegal charcoal dealers and protecting them.

Commenting about the matter, Dollo also agreed with Otto, citing that there must be a syndicate to desertify Northern Uganda.

“There is a Syndicate to Desertify Northern Uganda. Recently Parliament passed the Climate Change Act with very stringent Measures. I have not heard anybody destroying our environment being charged. I appeal to our Local Governments to save our environment, It is shameful that you are leaving this battle to Odonga Otto, this is your battle, not Odonga Otto’s,” Dollo said.

Dollo disclaimed that he is not Otto’s lawyer and does not speak for him, but wondered why Otto would be arrested for “stealing from a thief”.