than 100 war debt claimants from Omiya Anyima Sub-county in Kitgum District have
complained about being fatigued with the endless verification exercises, which
is instead making them lose more money in bank charges.
The compensation covers persons who lost their livestock and other properties during past insurgencies in Acholi, Lango and Teso
sub-regions, an exercise for which the government has already committed 150 billion Shillings. Figures for that the government has so far verified a total of 16, 946 claimants in
the Acholi region and more than 1,400 of these are in Kitgum district.
Lakot Ocaya, a 62-year-old widow says that she has not received any
penny as compensation for her claim ever since she started filing
compensation forms, about 10-years ago. She
says the verification teams have gone to them severally and advised them
bank accounts, which only keeps eating into their initial savings.
complaint was raised during the induction of local leaders organized by Chua East Member
of Parliament Margaret Lamwaka Odwar at Omiya Anyima Sub County
on Saturday, December 10.
in; “Ma naka kimiyo…
out…Acholi dong obed bedo gi.”//
since we were given these forms to fill, we have been doing it over and over
again yet we are not getting any payment in compensation. We keep moving back
and forth daily to do verification and fill forms. The verification team came
here and told us that our money is ready but we have not seen anything. What
the claimants are doing best is repetitively reactivating bank accounts that go
dormant after some months, since we don’t have enough money to keep the accounts
open. Which is causing us more problems. If the government knows that this
program will not yield, they should not disturb us. They should let us be.”
Peter Ocan, another war debt claimant expressed concern about the reduction in
the number of animals claimed by some of them. Ocan
says that the recent list of verified claimants showed that he is entitled to only
10 cattle instead of 25.
to Ocan, any group whose name starts with Acholi brings bad thoughts to the
members and hardship to the leaders, because of the manner in which the war debt
claim issue is being handled. “The
moment you form a group with a name starting with “Acholi,” people will immediately
relate it to Acholi War Debt Claimants’ Association, and that is where your
leadership hurdles will start,” Ocan said.
the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, William Komakech, asked the claimants
to be patient, saying the process is still ongoing. He said the issues delaying
the process was varying figures of claimants with leaders of Acholi war debt
in: “The process of…
out…you are paid.”//
issue of contention in the war debt compensation process is the conflicting figures
In Kitgum district, for instance, there is a varying number of
people verified. The Attorney General’s register shows 1,547 verified claimants,
while the list displayed in the sub-counties in Kitgum shows 1,463 claimants,
and other sources indicate that the district has 1,983 claimants.
of the war debt claimants who lost their property and animals during pasts wars
has dragged on for years. In
January 2019, President Museveni told Acholi NRM leaders who were demanding quick payment of the claims, that the funds earmarked for compensating the
claimants were diverted to aid major national infrastructure developments, such
as roads and Information and Communication Technologies.