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War Debt Claimants in Kitgum Protest Reduction of Cattle For Compensation

A total of 1,463 war debt claimants in the district were verified in the exercise to ascertain details of claimants and properties lost as the government moves to start compensation.
UPDF soldiers guard cattle recovered from South Sudanese rustlers at Bibia parish, Atiak Subcounty Amuru district.

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A section of war debt claimants in Kitgum District has raised concern about the reduction in the numbers of cattle they lost in past insurgencies in the region. 

The concerns come as the Justice Ministry recently released updated details of claimants following the completion of a verification exercise conducted between December and January this year.

A total of 1,463 war debt claimants in the district were verified in the exercise to ascertain details of claimants and properties lost as the government moves to start compensation.

The new verified lists of war debt claimants were recently displayed at various Sub-county headquarters in the region.

However, some of the claimants alleged that the verified numbers of animals are less than what they lost and ought to be compensated for.

Celestino Odong, a resident of Lemo East Ward in Pager Division says he has since 2008 been chasing compensation from the government for 50 cattle looted by Karimojong warriors in the late 1980s.

He however says the lists that were displayed recently after verification indicates he owned only 17 cattle. Odong wonders why 33 animals have been slashed off his compensation benefits.

Luo Byte

//Cue in: “Acito a nongo…

Cue out:…apongo dyangi pyerabic."//

Santa Boroboro, a resident of Pagen Central village in Labongo Layamo sub-county says her family lost 170 cattle and notes that the figures had earlier been verified by the government.

According to Boroboro, she had also received part of her compensation of One Million Shillings but was shocked to discover recently that she is only entitled to be compensated for 55 animals.

Luo byte

//cue in: “An apongo dyang…

Cue out:…miya pyerabiro ni.”/

Solomon Ochola, another war debt claimant who lost 68 cattle and 32 goats from Bunyang village in Pajimo Parish, Labongo Akwang Sub-county after a raid by Karimojong warriors in the 1980s equally shares a similar plight.

Ochola says he recently found that only 58 cattle instead of 68 heads of cattle had been captured on the new verified lists of claimants in the district.

Close to 40 war debt claimants on Monday camped at the district Local Government headquarters demanding answers following a failed meeting with the compensation committee members headed by Retired Judge Galdino Moro Okello.

The committee was supposed to meet with claimants from the sub-counties of Labongo Layamo, Labongo Akwang and Kitgum Municipality. They were also supposed to meet other claimants from Mucwini, Lagoro, and Kitgum Matidi sub-counties.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech says that the claimants meeting with the compensation committee was suspended over the new covid-19 guidelines issued by President Museveni.

//cue in:  “it was unfortunate…

Cue out:…it was suspended.”//

Komakech noted that the reduction follows auditing conducted that found irregularities in numbers of animals earlier submitted by the war debt claimants’ former chairpersons Norbert Adyera and Noah Opwonya[deceased].

He says an authentic report of the verified claimants has since been handed by the Chief Administrative Officer Martin Jacan Gwokto to the Compensation Committee Chairperson.

//cue in: “there complaint could…

Cue out:…with Kitgum work.”//

The government early this year released 10 Billion Shillings towards compensation of the war debt claimants in Acholi, Teso, Lango and Karamoja sub-regions.        

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