By Christopher Nyeko
GULU: On Wednesday at 11:45am, Oyella Rosalina aged 101, a resident of Ceri village in Pogo Sub County in Amuru district arrived at Gulu High Court courtroom to attend her son’s trials.
Oyella, who was looking pale, tired and exhausted, told ugreports that she left her rural home in Ceri pogo on Monday morning and started trekking for over 73 kilometers to Gulu city to attend her son’s court.
“After hearing from the media that the trial of my son would resume this month, I started to solicit money from the relatives to enable me to transport myself to the court, however no one supported,” she said.
Oyella was earlier last week joined by Kwoyelo’s son John Opototap who is currently staying in his mothers’s place in Oyuku village Porogali Sub County in Pader district.
The elder narrated that she began her long journey from Ceri village in pogo Sub County Amuru district to Pabo town council also in Amuru the distance she estimatedly says is approximately 29 kilometer where she spent her first night.
Then on Tuesday she continued to trekked for 49 kilometers and reached Lacor trading centre in Bardege Layibi division the end part of Gulu city neighboring both Amuru and Omoro district in the late evening where secondly rested in her relatives homes
On Wednesday, Oyella arrived at court with swollen feet but after she accused her beloved son, who is battling 93 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Oyella swiftly rushed to hug him but her attempt was however blocked by the prison warder who was in charge of the dockets.
She was then guided out of the courtroom where her son was being tried in and directed to another different court room full with the members of the public who were following the court proceeding .
But however shortly she was brought back to attend the courtroom where her son was sited following the directive from the court registrar
In the courtroom were three judges, researchers, journalists, court interpreter defense lawyers, prosecutors, state attorney, civil society’s organization and court assessors.
John Opototap who is 22 years old one of Kwoyelo’s sons who trekked the same distance to accompany his grandmother to court revealed that the journey to the court was too difficult for him in his teenage years together with her elderly grandmother.
“We could have not treks but due to financial constraint we were unable to afford for the transport fare which is up to one hundred and sixty thousand Ugandan shilling for both coming to the court and going back home in Amuru,” said Opototap
He further revealed that last week he spent forty thousand shilling on transport from Oyuku village in Porogali sub county in Pader to Amuru to meet his grandmother so that they can plan their way to visit his father who he said he has lasted for two years without seeing him as the case was paused due to corona outbreak in the country in March 2020
“As in the community we are being pointed at as children of the killer and no one wants us to step foot in their compound. A lot of stigmatizations still arise on us,’’ Opototap lamented.
The two are now in Gulu till the proceeding is concluded however they are stranded with no accommodation as in evening the duos were still standing outside the court gate looking to where their help may come from
They are calling upon the members of the public to support them, they can be reached on 0760379675 registered in the name of Jackline Lakot another number is 0778531578 in the name of Lamwaka Nancy.
Thomas Kwoyello is being trailed by the international crime division court on 93 counts charges against him on war crime and crime against humanity he committed in a year between 1996 and 2005
The hearing is being presided over by the three judges of the high court identified as Michael Elubu who is the presiding judge, Stephen Mubiru and Duncan Gaswaga.
However the accused was represented by Charles Dalton Opwony of Opwony and company advocates at least a total of 93 witnesses are set to testify against Thomas Kwoyelo.
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