Tuesday January 21 2014

LRA insurgency: Government ready to compensate war claimants

Claimants display placards that MPs should not be listened to. The MPs had wanted the payment of claims halted.

Claimants display placards that MPs should not be listened to. The MPs had wanted the payment of claims halted. PHOTO BY HUDSON APUNYO 



Government has allocated Shs10 billion as part of the compensation to over 4,000 people whom court ordered to be paid for their livestock and household items lost during the 20 year insurgency in northern Uganda.

However, the money posted on a pool account will be sent to the claimants’ respective banks after a verification exercise.

The compensation follows a court order resulting from a 2008 case in which the group of claimants from six camps through their lawyer, Mr Alex Bashasha, sued government to recover their lost animals and property.

Addressing the group in Lira Town, Mr Bashasha said the compensation installment for livestock is in connection with the completed case but warned the group against exposing their bank account details.

“The money will be received through the bank but depending on the specific losses incurred by a member. Everyone registered their livestock lost and that is the compensation to be got but since this is the first batch, I advise everyone not to close their accounts in banks to avoid costs of opening afresh in future,” said Mr Bashasha amidst jubilations at a briefing on livestock compensation to claimants held in Lira town.

The compensation arises out of a High Court order in which government was ordered to compensate the war survivors with special damages and specific damages to pay for the livestock lost.

Mr Joe Emmy Odongo, one of the representatives of the claimants in the court order, said the compensation is part of the payment for the people who lost their animals during the war.
“I thank government for honouring the claims and the presidential commitment to deliver our compensation. Following the verification process, we are sure the payment will improve household incomes and standards of living,” said Mr Odongo.

Lira District chairperson Alex Oremo Alot commended the government move arguing that it would go a long way to improve the standards of living for the people in Lango.