The election of the Kumam cultural leader, Won Atekerin-
Papa Kumam has been postponed over legal
The elections that had been scheduled to take place today was halted when it emerged that the steering committee didn’t inform the line
minister as per the constitutional requirement.
The ceremony that attracted about 1,000 participants from
different districts in Teso and Lango was thrown into disarray when counsel
Alfred Ewatu advised members to follow the laws of the land in order to avoid
He explained that whereas the committee followed almost all
the requirements for the election of the cultural leader or paramount chief,
there was a communication gap in mobilizing the sub county councils and writing to
the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development on the matter.
“It was an oversight in the steering committee to comply
with Section 4 of the Cultural Leaders Act, 2011. The law requires the
institution to inform the minister of gender in writing about the election of
the cultural leader beforehand," he said.
Counsel Ewatu also noted that all the 20 sub counties
predominantly occupied by the Kumam were required to pass resolutions
consenting to the election of a Kumam cultural leader. However, most of the sub
counties didn’t present the said resolutions to the first assembly convened on Saturday.
According to the Kumam constitution, Kaberamaido was
supposed to present resolutions from seven sub counties, eight from Kalaki
district, four from Soroti district and one from Dokolo district. By the time
of meeting on Saturday, only a handful of sub counties in Kaberamaido had
presented their council resolutions.
Robert Ewangu, the Kumam chairperson in charge of constitutional affairs says that much as the advice was given on the election
day, it’s worth following to avoid frustrations in the future. He revealed that
the election of Won Atekerin- Papa Kumam will now be held on July 16th.
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The election of Won Atekerin- Papa Kumam will see the Kumam
communities independent from Iteso Cultural Union- ICU under Emorimor, which
initially covered the Kumam. The Kumam have been involved in the processes for
the establishment their cultural head since 2011.
Won Atekerin- Papa Kumam will be elected by representatives
of 147 clans currently registered in various parts of the country especially in
Eastern and Northern Uganda.
According to Charles Ebayu Ochen, the chairperson of Kumam
Cultural Heritage, the brain behind the establishment of Kumam cultural
institution, their constitution has laid down a number of requirements for one
to be elected Won Atekerin- Papa Kumam.
Among the requirements include possession of Certificate of
Education or its equivalent, an established home with a good reputation to
serve the communities. The constitution also limits the election of Won
Atekerin- Papa Kumam to persons aged 60 years and above but with clean record
in partisan politics.
Ochen reveals that their constitution does not allow
campaigns for the elections of cultural leaders, adding that the new leader
will be elected basing on his/her tested working experience with the community.
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The meeting today however elected the chairperson of the
general assembly and the electoral commission members.