Addressing residents of Acet and Bobi parishes last week, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for Omoro County in Gulu district, Hon Jacob Oulanyah made an assurance to the Acholi community that the government of President Yoweri Museveni will release shs2 billion to compensate animals and property looted during the two decades of brutal war in Northern Uganda.
“I am going back to Kampala to make sure that shs2 billion is released to Engineer Opwonya, chairman of Acholi War Debt Association and his team,” Oulanyah told his unsuspecting audience.
He revealed that some money had already been released to Kampala Advocate Associates who are acting on behalf of the association and that parliament had approved the release of shs2 billion from the budget supplement, “I am in a hurry to go to Kampala to make sure that we meet with the relevant authority.”
He added that, earlier this year Shs5 billion was released to Acholi War Debt Claimants Associations by the Ministry of Finance, but he does not know what happened to that money.
Eng. Noah Opwonya, the Chairman of Acholi War Debt Claimants Association when contacted acknowledged that the association had received shs2 billion and that the money is in the account of their Lawyer, Kampala Advocate Associates.
“We are going to meet with the Deputy Speaker of parliament over this; the government has released sh.2 billion as part of compensation for the animals lost during insurgency.” Eng. Opwonya said.
He said that President Museveni had authorised a total sum of sh20 billion to compensate Acholi claimants, however, the association was told that sh10 billion of that money had been partitioned to Lango War Debt Claimants Association.
Acholi War Debt Claimants Association want Uganda government to compensate over 30,000 people whose animals were looted by the NRA/UPDF soldiers in 1987.
In the year 2008, the association under the chairmanship of Odong Adyera took the government to court, but President Museveni asked the claimants and Gulu High Court that the matter be settled out of court, to which both parties agreed, the case was before Justice Remy Kasule.
The association is asking for Shs37 trillion as part of war debt compensation, so far the government has only paid sh4 billion.
Meanwhile Oulanyah also distributed 15 bicycles to youth groups in Odek, Bobi and Ongako sub counties.
Oulanyah on Friday gave bicycles to youth groups in Ongako Sub County and donated shs5 million; then on Saturday he gave 5 bicycles to Youth groups in Odek and again donated shs5 million as part of his “constituency development programme.”
Mr. Oulanyah while addressing residents of Binya Parish at Acet central ward told the youth that during his youthful years in the 1980s, they used to do community work to help those that were vulnerable in society, particularly the old who did not have any siblings to rely upon.
“I used to be the mobiliser of young boys within our village in Ajuri, we helped the elderly people who did not have people to assist them, we built for them houses, people could see us coming with polls to construct the houses,” Oulanyah said.
“But during the resettlement of people from IDP camps, it was Norwegian Refugee Council and American Refugee Council that was constructing houses for vulnerable elderly people whose children had died during the LRA war, can’t we organized our youth to do that?” Oulanyah asked.
He added that the five bicycles he gave to each Youth group were to encourage youth programmes in Lalogi and Lakwana sub counties.
Onen Owiny one of the youth from Lakim village in Odek Sub County told Oulanyah that his youth group constructed 30 houses for elderly people and dug 30 pit latrines in each home.
“We are interested to see that our elders should not die because they do not have their children to look after them,” Onen said. By A Web design Company
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