Lakwena's Family Makes Fresh Demands

2452 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
Lakwena’s father Severino Lukoya wants the government to compensate them for the loss of property and alleged mistreatment that they went through at the hands of government soldiers.

The family of the late rebel leader Alice Lakwena has issued fresh demands for compensation.

This time the family led by Lakwena’s father, Severino Lukoya, wants the government to compensate them for loss of property and alleged maltreatment that they went through at the hands of government soldiers.
In 1986 shortly after Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Army (NRA) captured power, Lakwena launched a rebellion against the new government. With her rag-tag Holy Spirit Movement fighters, she attacked government forces with stones, convincing her fighters that a combination of magic water and stones would protect them from bullets. Lakwena overrun several military installations in the north and East of the country before being defeated in Magamaga near Jinja town in 1987.
She escaped to Kenya where she lived in exile till her death in January 2007.

Now 84-year-old Lukoya says government should compensate his family for the hundreds of cattle that the soldiers allegedly stole during the time they were fighting rebels led by Alice Lakwena.
Speaking through an interpreter, Lukoya said government should also fulfill the pledge made by President Yoweri Museveni two years ago to provide the family with thirty pieces of iron sheets as a resettlement package. He says the president has to date not fulfilled the promise.

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Other demands include rebuilding the church that Alice Lakwena had set up at Opit Railway Station in Gulu but was allegedly demolished by government soldiers in 1987.

Lukoya says the church will act as a memorial for his daughter. He describes Lakwena as God’s ‘messenger’ who was misunderstood by the government leading to the rebellion.

Lukoya also says government should pay him compensation for the torture case which he won three years ago but is yet to be compensated.

Lukoya, who runs Tabernacle New Jerusalem Church where he practices a concoction of traditional religion and Christianity, sued government for the action of Lt. Santos Labeja, former Pader Resident District Commissioner who allegedly demolished his church.

High Court Judge Remmy Kasule who presided over the case in 2009 ordered government to pay Lukoya 10 million shillings for the torture he suffered when Lt. Labeja demolished his church.
But government has to date not paid despite the ruling.

Lukoya now lives near Gulu town. He is highly revered by his followers who believe that he has powers to intercede with God on their behalf.

Mary Karoro Okurut, the Information Minister could not be reached to comment on the demands made by Lakwena’s family.