Lakwena War Survivors Threaten Match To State House

More than 2500 families in Luuka district that were affected by the 1987 Alice Lakwena rebellion are still waiting for government compensation.

Audio 5

More than 2500 families in Luuka district that were affected by the 1987 Alice Lakwena rebellion are crying foul over the failure by government to compensate them.


The complainants are from Bukanga, Nawampiti and Waibuga sub counties in Luuka district. The war survivors, who are threatening to match to State House, claim that they lost their relatives, and property like houses, livestock, food and hard cash to the rebels. 

At least three children were killed and 42 others injured critically after the rebels lobbed a grenade at Busalaamu primary school camp. 


Alice Auma Lakwena launched what she called the Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) claiming to be sent by God to restore the Acholi dignity and liberate Uganda. Starting his movement in August 1986 and using stones, shea-nut butter and what she called holy water, the HSM forces overrun government army posts through Acholi, Lango, Teso, Bugisu and parts of Busoga. They were eventually overpowered and defeated near Jinja town in November 1987.


Lakwena ran into exile in Kenya from where she died on January17, 2007 at Ifo Refugee Camp in the north of the country.


Joseph Waiswa, who narrowly escaped death after he was hit by a stray bullet on the head during the rebellion, is now the coordinator of the War claimants. Waiswa says it is unfair for President Yoweri Museveni not to have compensated them after 26 years. He says they are going to match to State House in two weeks’ time so that the president gives them what he pledged.


//Cue in “We would equally…”

Cue out “…can get there.”//

At a rally at Busalaamu primary school in the district on January 23, 2005, President Museveni pledged to give the affected families five billion shillings as a compensation for the their loss in the war. To-date, however, nothing has been done. Patrick Mugooda, a resident of Waibuga village in Waibuga Sub County lost 20 members of his family and property during the rebellion.


//Cue in “Lakwena affects me…

Cue out…in our government.”//

Moses Mukose, a resident of Nawampiti village in Nawampiti sub county says he was shocked to learn that government gave Lakwena 50,000 US dollars in June 2004 yet her victims have never been compensated. He says they are tempted to believe government connived with Lakwena to bring the war to their area and destroy their property.


//Cue in: “We think government…

Cue out:…to go there.”//


Mukose says Professor Isaac Newton Ojok and Lt. Col. John Kennedy Kilama, some of the senior members of Lakwena’s movement, were arrested in Bukanga and Waibuga sub counties respectively, which were still then under Iganga district. Eighty-nine year-old Azena Kairugavu, a widow says her house was shelled with artillery fire from the government forces and destroyed after it was taken over by the rebels.

She wants government to give her a new house, at least 100 heads of cattle and five acres of sugarcane, which were set ablaze by National Resistance Army (NRA) soldiers to disperse the rebels. Musa Kintu, the chairperson Lakwena war debt claimants says it is high time President Museveni fulfilled his pledge instead of sending politicians to sweet talk the victims during election time.


//Cue in “His Excellency the…

Cue out…response at all.”//

Aggrey Fredrick Bangu, the Luuka Resident District Commissioner, however, says government constructed a school at Busalaamu primary school and has also given the people jobs.