18 March 2019

Uganda: Government to Compensate Lango for Lost Animals

Oyam — President Museveni has assured the people of Lango that government will soon compensate them for their lost animals.

Mr Museveni said he has directed the Attorney General (AG) to submit a list of validated claimants to him so that it could be included in the national budget.

"Many people have approached me about the compensation and I have given a directive to the AG to submit to me the list of those validated so that we can have it in the budget and the claimants compensated," he said.

The President made the assurance in a speech delivered by the Lands minister, Ms Betty Amongi at the burial of Joshua Engola, son of Defence State minister Col (rtd) Charles Okello Engola in Oyam District on Friday.

At the burial ceremony, the Lango Parliamentary Group's chairperson, Mr Felix Okot Ogong, said the President would find it hard to step in the region before compensating those that lost animals during the insurgency in northern Uganda.

"Lango has waited for this compensation for so long and I want to tell the President that if they are not compensated this time, it will be very difficult for him to get anything from Lango in 2021," Mr Okot said.

The Lira District chairman, Mr Alex Oremo Alot, however, said their are politicians who want to interfere with the compensation process.

"That MP should desist from involving himself in a compensation issue which is a court case," Mr Oremo said.

Kampala-based lawyer Alex Bashasha of Bashasha and Company Advocates said in 2017 he sought redress at the High Court in Lira to block some politicians from interfering with the said compensation.

He said the beneficiaries should never allow themselves to be manipulated by the politicians, adding: "I am sure the government will pay them since there is no appeal ever since the matter was dissolved by the court".

The High Court in Lira in 2014 ruled that the claimants under their umbrella body, Lango War Claimants Association, be compensated by the government for loss of livestock and other properties during the Lord's Resistance Army insurgency in northern Uganda.

Compensation

More than 63,000 war claimants from Lango sub-region are yet to be compensated, four years after court ruled in their favour. The war claimants say the Uganda People's Defence Forces and LRA looted their animals during the prolonged conflict in the region.

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