NEBBI. The king of Alur kingdom, His Majesty Philip Olarker Rauni III has halted the installation of MTN telecommunication mast project at Got Nebbi hill in Nebbi municipality, Nebbi district over failure to abide by the kingdom’s guidelines.

According to Olarker, the MTN telecommunication mast being constructed at the Kingdom cultural site (Got Nebbi hill) should be halted with immediate effect since the initiators of the project did not follow the rightful process and consideration of Alur kingdom.

“As the custodian of all Alur kingdom property, I have decided to halt the construction work on Nduru hill until I meet with the concerned stakeholders to resolve issues of ownership of the hill and how to share the benefits among the chiefdoms,” the king said in a letter addressed to MTN and copied to the chiefs in the area.

“I want to inform the concerned parties and the general public that the installation of MTN telecommunication mast and any other development at Got Nebbi hill should be halted forthwith until the due process is completed,” Olarker further directed.

The Prime Minister of Alur kingdom, Mr Vincent Orach Ochaya, however, blamed the problem on some groups of people claiming ownership of the said hill.

He said the groups have decided to hire legal entities to claim ownership of the hill not knowing that Alur kingdom owns all the cultural sites within the kingdom.

“Alur kingdom is not interested in money but to see the conflicting chiefdoms coming together and agreeing on how best the benefit will be shared,” he said.

But Mr Kizito Oryem, the Nduru hill resource development association chairperson said the five chiefdoms of the area decided to start an association because they felt they all had a stake in the management of the hill since it belongs to their grandparents.

“It is unfortunate that Pawong decided to opt out but the four chiefdoms are working together and plan to meet the king to explain the intention of the association which started this year much as we are aware that some percentage of the money will also go to the kingdom,” Oryem said.

However, Mr Emmanuel Urombi, the Nebbi district chairperson said Alur kingdom and the government are different institutions, adding that cultural leaders should not halt development.

He suggested that if there is a problem, the two institutions should sit down and resolve it amicably without affecting development.

“The fact is that they are not rejecting the mast but there is conflict of interest by the chiefdoms claiming ownership of the hill which calls for Alur kingdom to bring them to order,” Urombi said.

He said as a district, they fought for the installation of the MTN mast because of network challenge in the area.