21 January 2013

Uganda: Acholi War Claims On Cattle Contested

Anania Akera, 99, who was a leading cattle farmer in northern Uganda before the LRA war, has dismissed the claims by the current Acholi War Debt Claimants (AWDC) as exaggerated.

Akera said the 18,000 AWDC claimants had falsified the number of cattle they had in the past and some who had no cattle have also been included.

"Not everyone who is on their list was a cattle owner, cattle keepers were few and the number that is being stated is something that they are merely claiming but most of this is not genuine," Akera told this writer.

He challenged those looking for the truth about cattle holding in Acholi the visit the ministry of Agriculture records in Entebbe as most districts were required to report monthly cattle numbers. Akera says he had 1,500 heads of cattle at Lakwatomer village and was the main milk and beef supplier in Gulu in the 1980s. .

"Apart from a few genuine claimants in Acholi, we were 13 people who were verified by the Bombo office and were supposed to be compensated, but currently as I speak I have only been compensated Shs 25m, out of over Shs 1bn that I was supposed to be paid," he said.

But AWDC chairperson Noah Opwonya dismissed Akera as jealous.

"We have people in our society who are jealous... and they don't want to see others benefiting," Opwonya said.

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