Government has blocked a proposal by Lira District leaders to reclaim the property of Lango Cultural Foundation. In his letter dated February 3, Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige instructs Benon Rwanguha, the Lira Chief Administrative Officer, to suspend the decision pending investigations.
Last year, Lira District council resolved to reclaim various properties from Lango cultural institution including the piece of land hosting the Cultural Centre and Houses.
The decision was reached to allow Lango Paramount Chief Yosam Odur to resolve his conflict with the rival leadership led by Wakili Okello, the head of the clan council. However, the leadership of Odur rejected the resolution saying the property in question was handed over to the cultural institution by the previous district council in 2007.
As a result, Odur petitioned government to intervene in the matter. Now, Adolf Mwesige, the Local government minister, has written to Lira District Local government staying the implementation of the resolution. In his letter dated February 3, Mwesige instructs Benon Rwanguha, the Lira Chief Administrative Officer, to suspend the decision pending investigations.
He also explains that the Government of Uganda recognizes Lango cultural institution as provided for Article 246 of the constitution, adding that the decision by the district to withdraw assets from the institution is now a subject of investigation by his ministry.
Willy Omodo, the spokesperson Lango Cultural Institution has welcomed the intervention of the minister saying the district acted in disregard of the law.
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Omodo blamed the district for involving politics in the management of the Cultural Institution. He says the council decision to withdraw the properties was done in bad faith and was not meant to solve the conflict.
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Martin Ocen Odyek, the Lira district council speaker, says they will write to the minister to explain why they resolved to withdraw the property from the cultural institution. He also denies claims that they acted in total disregard of law.
Last year, the leadership of Lango Cultural Foundation split into factions. A group of clan heads severed ties with Odur and set up a rival leadership. However, the matter was resolved recently by Lira High Court, which pronounced Odur as the legitimate head of the cultural institution.