Gulu Court rules against Acholi Debt War Claimants Executive.

2208 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
The Gulu high court has ordered for a fresh verification exercise of the Acholi War Debt Claimants and also remittance of compensation monies directly into the account of the victims.

The Gulu high court has ordered for a fresh verification of the Acholi war debt claimants. It also wants the compensation money to be remitted into the account of the victims.
Gulu resident judge, Justice John Eudes Keitirima on Friday ordered that over seven billion shillings already disbursed for compensation should be accounted for.
The Acholi War Debts Claimants Association executive lead by Noah Opwonya,  had gone to court seeking an order restraining several leaders from Acholi from commenting on how the compensation process should be handled.
Several leaders in Acholi sub region have been up in arms against the executive of the Acholi War debts claimants association. They claim the Association's executive has mismanaged the compensation process.
The court instead ruled that the compensation process should be subjected to through check and balance to ensure that the money reaches the rightful beneficiaries.
The compensation money from government has been channeled through Kampala Associated Advocates. Some dissatisfied member of the Acholi war Debt Claimants Association however allege  the law firm has been deducting up ten percent of the money.
Justice Kaitirima says the money should be deposited to the war claimants bank accounts.
Martin Ojara Mapenduzi the chairperson of Gulu district, one of the leader opposed to the way the compensation process has been managed was happy with Justice Kaitirima's order.
He says that the court order  now leaders in Acholi to monitor the compensation exercise.
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Acholi war debt claimant's Association is comprised of people who lost their property and animals during the two-decade insurgency in Northern Uganda. 
The victims dragged government to court for compensation, but government opted for an out of court settlement in 2008. 

So far government has disbursed over seven billion shillings.  The victims accuse Opwonya's executive of corruption and mismanaging the compensation process.
 Recently the Justice minister Kahinda Otafire ordered for forensic audit and investigations into the Acholi war claimants cash scandal.


About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.