Talks of compensating Karimojong draws mixed reactions from Lango MPs

Last Updated on: 28th March 2022, 03:07 pm

The beneficiaries in the first batch shall start receiving monies on their banks’ accounts by Monday, March 28.

By Frank Oyugi

Soroti, March 28, 2022: A section of members of parliament from Lango want the government to not only expedite the process of compensating war debt claimants but also to ensure the names of missing beneficiaries are added to the list.


On Saturday, President Yoweri Kaguta T. Museveni jetted into Soroti University where he launched the cattle compensation for Lango, Teso and Acholi sub-regions.


 As a gesture, the number one citizen issued dummy cheques to selected beneficiaries. 


Among them is Mary Ejang from Lango who will receive shs6.3m, Joseph Emutu from Teso was issued a dummy cheque of shs 11. 3 and Paul Ogik from Acholi also shs11m. 


The beneficiaries in the first batch shall start receiving monies on their banks’ accounts by Monday, March 28.


Speaking at the sidelines of the event, Kole North Member of Parliament Dr Samuel Opio Acuti said the attorney general has told them that 92,000 names of the debt war claimants were successfully submitted for compensation.


Quoting the attorney general, MP Opio said the actual number considered in this first batch is 25,000.


“So we are appealing to the chief administrative officers of the various districts to ensure they update the list of beneficiaries because it is their work that they should ensure that those missing on the list are submitted for compensation,” MP Opio told the press.


According to Dr Opio Acuti, at least 42,042 names of beneficiaries from Lango are to be compensated by the government for their cattle, goats and sheep that got lost during insurgencies. 


Of these, the government has cleared 18,000 beneficiaries and 9000 are expected to  benefit from the first round of payment.


“We will continue to pursue those and another 23,0000 missing on the list,” Dr Opio added.


The issue of insecurity in Karamoja should not be taken lightly because now people shall start receiving their compensation monies and use it to buy cattle but the Karamojong are intensifying their raids, he said, adding, “but I am glad the president has said he will fly to Karamoja to resolve the issue.”


He also appealed to the beneficiaries not to waste the compensation monies on alcoholism and marrying more women.


“When you are given seeds, you don’t take it to the kitchen and serve as food on the table but you sow in the garden, then to the kitchen and on the table,” Secretary General of the LPG advised.


He urged the beneficiaries to use the money to start businesses, buy cattle and land among other projects.


Dorcus Acen, the Alebtong district woman member of parliament commended the government for finally yielding to the cries of the local populace and for accepting to compensate the animals that were rustled  in the past.


Just like her counterpart, Acen urged the beneficiaries to carefully utilize the compensation monies to replace their livestock for a better livelihood.


“If you are compensated for three animals, use the money to replace your three animals but don’t use it on alcohol,” Acen appealed to the beneficiaries.


She, however, expressed worries on the insecurity risk posed by the Karamojong cattle rustlers and said, “recently m people of Abia sub county in Moroto constituency expressed concern over the same.”


The woman MP urged the government to exercise restraint on the Karamojong cattle rustlers.


While addressing the gathering, the Deputy Attorney General Jackson Kafuzi said the government was receiving pressure from other regions who are demanding compensation for their animals lost in the past as a result of insurgencies.


But Dorcus Acen has received this communication with a pinch of salt. Acen says Lango people know that their cattle were rustled by the same Karimojong who are also demanding compensation from the government. She said that this “beats logic”.


“Our people went to court and won a case against the government, they were verified and validated. The government should first compensate our people and listen to the cries from other regions later if it is deemed necessary,” Acen told TND News at Soroti University.


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