Kumi: The home of Nyero Rock paintings

Thursday October 17 2013

Above are some of the paintings on Nyero Rocks. Right is part of the rocks

Above are some of the paintings on Nyero Rocks. Right is part of the rocks. File photo 

By Richard Otim

Kumi- Originally known as South Teso, the district was created in 1975 and in 1980, while comprising Kumi, Ngora Bukedea counties, it was renamed Kumi District.

The district covers an estimated area of 1,055.8 square kilometres, 902.48 square kilometers of which is land area and 153.32 square kilometers (14.5 per cent) is covered by water bodies and wetlands.
Kumi consists of seven sub-counties, 83 parishes and 170 villages with a population growth rate of 4.3 per cent.

By 2010, the population in Kumi was projected at 233,800 people, 120,200 females and 113,600 males.
Kumi is also home to Nyero Rock paintings, the site of the Iron Age rock-shelters bearing illustrative paintings on their inner surfaces but even as makers of the paintings could not be traced, the ingenuity art demonstrates a high degree of inhabitants’ intelligence.


The district covers an estimated area of 1,055.8 square kilometres.


By 2010, the population in Kumi was projected at 233,800 people. It has a population growth rate of 4.3 per cent.


The district has 148 education institutions comprising 109 primary schools 91 of which are government-aided, 18 privately owned, and 26 nursery schools.


Many women in Kumi mostly survive on brewing millet liquor commonly known as ajon. Potatoes are grown on a wide range as food crops.


There are 16 health units in Kumi District, including one district hospital, a private hospital, six sub county health centres and eight village health units.

Who is who in Kumi?

Emorimor: The Iteso cultural chief, Papa Emormor Augustine Lemokol Osuban, is considered the father of five million Iteso, forming one of the largest tribes in the country.
Major Kanuti: The veteran soldier is remembered for the key role he played on Independence Day in 1962. He is the man who lowered the Union Jack and hoisted the Ugandan Flag.

Maj Charles Onange: The soldier, economist and also once a teacher is the owner of the executive Kumi Hotel. Maj Onange is currently the president of Lions Kumi Central, a rotary club.

Churchill Ongole: A renowned civil society activist, Ongole played a key role in the creation of the Teso Anti-Corruption Coalition that has since spearheaded a number of investigations into misuse of public funds in the region.

Monica Amoding: Is the National Female Youth MP. A social scientist and old student of Tororo Girls’ School, Amoding has, since joining Parliament in 2011, expressed interest in vying for the Kumi Woman MP seat.

Alice Muwanguzi: Formerly the Resident District Commissioner for Kampala, Ms Muwanguzi was posted to Kumi to serve in the same capacity last year.

Patrick Amuriat Oboi: This is the MP for Kumi Constituency and a strong protagonist of the Forum for Democratic Change. The engineer once tried to contest for the Soroti Municipality constituency but lost to Capt. Mike Mukula.

Bishop Edison Irigei: The soft-spoken Anglican prelate is the inaugural bishop of Kumi Diocese. Bishop Irigei has drawn a sharp line between politics and religion and will take any chance to advise clerics against politics.

Winfred Adiyo: She is the proprietor of Continental FM, a Kumi-based radio station. The former rebel of the Uganda People’s Army had also been a member of the government’s Amnesty Commission.

Stephen Okiria: Is the district’s personnel officer and secretary of the District Service Commission. He is instrumental in the council’s decision-making process and implementation of issues.

Jane Ediegu: The tough-talking district nursing officer doubles as the Teso Malaria Consortium Coordinator. She once gave a shot to the Amuria Woman MP seat but failed.

Odea Apedel: The fire brand member of the Forum for Democratic Change in Teso doubles as Kumi FDC chairperson. Mr Apedel, a former supporter of the ruling National Resistance Movement party, is an anti-corruption crusader.

Stanislas Isiagi: He is the owner of Green Top hotel in Kumi, Soroti Hotel in Soroti, he owns a seed company and most importantly, he is the proprietor of Forest Mall in Kampala.

Ismail Orot: The maverick LC5 chairperson is known for his relentless jokes about his political ambitions to replace President Museveni. He has been at the district’s top seat since 2001.

Jeremiah Acelun: The informal Master of Ceremonies for Kumi Anglican Diocese also lectures at Kumi University. Apart from teaching at the university, he has gained fame through his chaplaincy.

Dr John Ekure: The quest to develop a niche in bone therapy kept bothering him and he had to return to school for another four years to become an orthopedic surgeon. He is now the proprietor of Kumi Orthopedic Hospital, the first of its kind in the region.

Zerubaberi Obilil: He is the representative of the business community for Kumi National Resistance Movement League and is a famous businessman. He owns the Stay Free Guest House and the Bili Enterprises, a famous local hardware entity.

Johnson Opolot: The youthful civil servant rose to district leadership at a much younger age and when Bukedea District was carved out of Kumi five years ago, he became its caretaker Chief Administrative Officer.

Titus Apegu: A medical doctor by training, Dr Apegu is the proprietor of Midas Touch Medical Services on the Soroti-Mbale highway. He is respected for his diligence in handling women complications, especially those connected to pregnancy.

Christine Amongin Aporu: A primary school teacher by training, Amongin rode to politics as Woman MP first in 1996, 2001 and failed in 2006. She made a come back in 2011. Amongin is the Minister of State for Teso Affairs.

Dr Joseph Okia: He is a presidential assistant on health and is also a researcher. He comes from Kanyumu Sub-county and is a nephew of President Museveni. Recently, his home in Kumi was given a face-lift.

Joseph Omuron: He is an accountant, now pursuing a PhD and is a factor in Kumi affairs.

Justin Osingilo: He is a civil servant who has kept a low profile. He is a respected son of the soil.

Rev. Job Osuret: The controversial Anglican clergy known for his straight forwardness. He stunned residents at a recent burial when he asked his wife to prepare for widowhood because he would die soon.

Patrick Isiagi: He is the assistant commissioner in the Ministry of Finance but attached to Mulago hospital. He is known for charity and is a clandestine NRM mobiliser in Teso.

Charles Okiria: He is a medical worker and a lecturer at International Health Sciences University in Kampala and Kampala University. He has built a health centre in his home area of Mukongoro Sub-county.

Joyce Asekenye: Is the founder of Teso Karamoja Women’s Initiative for Peace, a local non-profit making oganisation that has been at the forefront in pacifying Iteso and Karimojong tribes.

Onya Akonopesa: He is the chairperson Kumi District Farmers’ Association. Mr Akonopesa once served as dean of students at Kumi University but he is now a businessman.

Joseph Ariong Odea: He is a businessman with several constructions and hotel ventures in Kumi, Bukedea, Mbale and Kampala. He is known for his charity; he sponsors many students in school and offers treatment for several residents. He is a reknown political kingmaker in Teso.