Lango pic collage

Lango in 2024: issues expected to dominate public debates 

(Last Updated On: 2 January 2024)

Lango I It is day two (Day 2) of 2024 and as it was a year afore, a section of Lango people continues to be busy on different social media platforms discussing largely the politics of Lira City.

Towards the end of 2023, two main issues – Lira City politics and the long-awaited construction of Akii Bua Olympic Stadium started to dominate social media platforms including local radio airwaves. On the latter, it all started with excitement after news broke that Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania had won a joint bid to host the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2027.

After the news, to many Lango people, it was a dream come true for the long-awaited construction of Akii Bua Olympic Stadium in Lira City. However, the excitements were cut short after the government said the stadium would not be constructed to host Afcon in 2027.

In his pre-Christmas address to the nation, President Museveni confirmed the inability of the government to build Akii Bua ahead of the 2027 major football tournaments. Lango remains agitated.

As in decades, Lango has had huge expectations in 2023 both from the government and the representatives (leaders) they elected. Some say little was achieved in 2023 with hopes in 2024.

In this edition, some sons and daughters of Lango told tndNews issues which will be dominant and what Lango, as a people should do to remain productive amid a wide range of issues they currently feel are not prioritised.

Kelly Ketty Acham has been following and contributing to the debates on issues the sub-region is confronted with. She said, “Looking at a political perspective, all I call for is the openness of our leaders in power to take charge of their actions. We have got leaders who look at others in similar positions as unable and probably time wasters yet they have not for once done anything tangible for the constituency to see.

“Lango as a community should be vigilant and sound about the next election. Let’s all conduct free and fair elections to benefit everyone. One of the things that should dominate us as Lango is togetherness and unity. Take, for example, our neighbours from Acholi sub-region who are united and all look forward to the development of their region unlike us who see development as a threat.”

Olodi Denis is a political strategist. He said, “Lango will be electing its Paramount Chief. It is hoped that this will ensure a smooth transfer of authority from Mzee Yosam Odur to a new leader. It is my wish that the new leadership coming in 2024 shall be more active given the increased annual budgetary allocation of shs60m to cultural and traditional institutions.

“Lango will be active politically given the fact that the National Electoral Commission has unleashed a roadmap for the 2026 general elections. Lango will be in campaign mode and won’t have the time to evaluate the manifestos of the leaders who were elected in 2026. This gap means that the accountability mechanism will be weak as there won’t be any yardstick against which the performance of leaders is measured.

How united should Lango be for the desired development to flow in? We asked him, and he responded: “The recently constituted “Odonge Etogo” should be given more powers through the Council of Owiiting, working in collaboration with Lango Parliamentary Group and Lango Local Government Leaders’ Association to play a mediation and advisory role for the cultural and local government units.

“This should be an informal arrangement at the sub-regional level but supported by local governments. Lango under traditional institutions should convene in early 2025, the Second Lango Conference to evaluate what went well, what didn’t go well and what needs to be done following the previous conference in 2011. This discussion will also set the pace for Lango’s interests aware that the 2026 general elections will be close. The planning for the early 2025 conference should start in 2024, with the constitution of the Steering Committee and other apex bodies.”

Ocen Daniel is an agriculturist and regular commentator on social issues. He told tndNews “There are very many issues”. “Politics will lead. Lango has again gone back to the politics of Besigye vs Museveni due to the Akii Bua Stadium saga and it is going to be NRM vs UPC in most parts of Lango.

“I would like Lango to revamp production through awakening the Cooperatives (Ibuje, Aduku, Iceme) and many more. It is only through farmer’s cooperatives that farmers get advisory services instantly and timely, hence, improving their capacities and technology development in farming. There is already a scarcity of Land for production in Lango, the introduction of modern technology that caters for sustainable land use and smart agriculture is the way to go: coming together under cooperatives.

Prossy Langol is the coordinator, Office of the National Chairman of the NRM party (ONC) Lango sub-region. On what is going to be dominant in Lango in 2024, she said, “We are fully committed to working collaboratively with the party Secretariats to strengthen our presence, engage with the community, and ensure effective communication of the party’s vision and achievements.

2024

“We will focus on addressing concerns, supporting initiatives that benefit the people, and fostering unity through strategic planning, community involvement, and responsive leadership. Our aim is to build a strong foundation for the NRM in Lango and enhance support ahead of the 2026 elections.”

Dr Samuel Opio Acuti is the Kole North MP and Secretary General of Lango Parliamentary Group. On issues going to be dominant, he said national roads infrastructure, looking at Lira-Kamdini road, Rwenkunye-Apac-Lira-Puranga and the district roads in which the government allocated shs1b per District.

“We expect better district roads if the districts use these funds well. Livestock compensation will continue to dominate the key issues in Lango. Shs80b was allocated last year and we are waiting to see the full release of this amount. So far, shs34b has been released and paid.

“Poverty eradication in Lango will remain a thorny issue to be addressed through PDM, Emyooga and UWEP, among other livelihood programmes.”

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