Wednesday July 16 2014

Court orders government to compensate Lango war victims

By Bill Oketch

The High Court in Lira has ordered government to compensate over 63,000 people who lost livestock during the two-decade insurgency in Lango sub-region.
The court also ordered the government to pay Shs5 million and 25 per cent interest to each claimant (plaintiff) for general damages for the harm they suffered during the conflict.
This comes after the group under their umbrella organization; Lango War Claimants Association (LAWCAS) sued government in 2010 demanding Shs1.2 trillion in compensation for sheep, pigs, goats and cattle lost during the conflict. The plaintiffs claim the animals were stolen and eaten by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
During the hearing of the case, the plaintiffs argued that “it was the responsibility of the government under the constitution to provide security, protect lives and property of the people yet government failed in its mandate.”
In his ruling on Monday July 14, 2014, Justice Simon Byamukama Mugenyi said it was the responsibility of the government to protect the residents and their properties during the conflict, ordering the government to pay the claimants in cash or in kind.
Court valued each sheep and goat at Shs 150,000/=, a pig at Shs250,000/= and each herd of cattle at Shs900,000.