The pajong clan claims that it lost more 56 strong people who have contributed enormously to the development of the clan at the hands of LRA rebels on the ill-fated dues to the mistakes committed by a member of the Pubec clan.
Pajong clan members in Mucwini Sub County in Kitgum are seeking up to 160 million shillings from the Pubec clan in compensation for their relatives murdered during the Mucwini massacre by LRA rebels on July 24th 2002. The pajong clan claims that it lost more 56 strong people who have contributed enormously to the development of the clan at the hands of LRA rebels on the ill-fated dues to the mistakes committed by a member of the Pubec clan.
Geoffrey Oguti, the Mucwini sub county LC V councilor reminisces the events that led to the massacre. Oguti says it all started after Otim Katende, a member of the Pubec clan escaped with an AK47 refile belonging to the LRA rebels forcing them to descend on the village and butcher several people.
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It is alleged that when Katende escaped with the gun he surrendered it to the UPDF at Namukora detach before returning home. Information reportedly reached the rebels, who demanded the unconditional return of the gun or else they attack the village. The villagers refused to take the LRA threats sitting down and reported the matter to government and asked for protection.
However, the rebel kept their promise their threats and descended on the village and massacred 56 people in cold blood before the army could deploy. Oguti says some were hit on trees while others were chopped to pieces. The massacre left a bad tasted between the Pajong and Pubec clan. The Pajong have since denied the Pubec clan members access to their ancestral land, burial grounds and water sources until they are fully compensated.
To try and resolve the stalemate, Kitgum district council has formed a Mediation Committee consisting of 12 people to pave way for the resettlement of 47 Pubec households that are still trapped in internally displaced people’s camp in Mucwini Sub County. Oguti explains that the Committee has managed to forge a common understanding between the two clans.
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Luka Nyeko is the Kitgum LCV chairperson and member of the mediation Committee. He says the clans have also agreed to undergo Acholi traditional justice system of ‘Mato Oput’ to bury the hatchet of the long running rivalry. The process will require an additional 40 Million shillings to complete.
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However, members of the Pubec clan say the demands are near to impossible considering that they have remained locked up in Internally Displaced People’s camp this long. They are blaming the UPDF for not granting their request for protection and want government to shoulder the full responsibility in a document addressed to state house.
Luka Nyeko agrees with the clan. He says President Yoweri Museveni has already committed himself to funding both the claims and the process of Mato Oput.
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After the Mato Oput process, government will build a monument in memory of those killed in the massacre at 14 Million Shillings. Despite the bitter rivalry, the two clans come together once every year to conduct a joint memorial service for the massacre victims.