Lango Cultural Institution Pleads for Return of Cultural Properties

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In short
Dr. Richard Nam, The Lango Cultural Institution premier told URN that the institution needs to repossess a huge piece of land at Iredha Estate in Central Division and the structure housing Lira district administration among others.

Lango Cultural Institution has joined a list of several other institutions that are coming up to claim properties that could be in the possession of the central government.

The enthusiasm to reclaim ownership of properties was driven by the recent return of Buganda properties commonly referred to as ‘Ebyaffe’ and the subsequent request from Tooro Kingdom for the return of ‘Ebyaitu’.
 
Dr. Richard Nam, The Lango Cultural Institution premier told URN that the institution needs to repossess a huge piece of land at Iredha Estate in Central Division and the structure housing Lira district administration among others.

Dr. Nam further explains that some properties belonging to Lango Cultural Institution were grabbed by the government after Independence and around 1966 when traditional Institutions were abolished.

He argues that the then Lango district headquarters where Lira district local government is housed now was built using funds locally generated by the people of Lango through their cultural leadership.
 
According to Dr. Nam, Lango people had a government before British rule and it consisted of Won Nyaci (Paramount Chief), Twon Lwak (Military Leader), Awitong (Supreme Clan Chief), Rwot (Chief), Won Paco (Head of Homesteads), and Awi-Otem (Head of Family Lineage).

He adds that much as Lango did not have hereditary leaders as the practice is in Buganda, Bunyoro and Tooro, the Colonial masters recognized the leaders and sought their counsel on a number of issues.

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Dr. Nam argues that when the NRM government captured power, Institution of traditional leaderships were reinstated across the country meaning that they should have also been allowed to take over their properties that existed before.

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However, Adams Makmot a lawyer with Kibwanga and Co. Advocate says Lango cultural Institution has no moral and legal ground to reclaim any property belonging to the district and government.

According to Makmot, the Institution can only succeed with the claim on political grounds because unlike kingdoms like Buganda that already existed before Uganda was declared a British protectorate, Lango did not own any properties.
 
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The enthusiasm to reclaim ownership of properties presumed to be belonging to Lango Cultural Institution was driven by the recent presidential action to return various properties to Buganda Kingdom.

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.