Kony family appeals to Museveni to fulfil pledge

New Content Item (1)
New Content Item (1)

What you need to know:

They say since returning to Uganda about five months ago, they are living under difficult conditions with nothing to survive on.

The family of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel leader Joseph Kony has appealed to President Museveni to meet the pledges he made to them more than three months ago.

They say since returning to Uganda about five months ago, they are living under difficult conditions with nothing to survive on and it is only the government that can help them.

“We are here toiling, living hand to mouth, we came into his hands, because if others don’t want to welcome us or support us, we knew he would take us as his own and it is why we want the President to listen to us,” Kony’s wife Selly told Daily Monitor.

“We sleep hungry or just survive on a meal per day because we don’t even have a plot of land on which we can grow vegetables, there is nothing to work, so we have to buy food and eat,” she added.

Whereas she said she knows a number of her husband’s relatives, she said they have not been helpful.

“I know my husband’s relatives and they are aware we are around but we have no link, we are on our own, the only visit we had recently was by his elder sister but she said she did not have any ability or resources to absorb us,” Ms Kony said.

Mr Moses Komakech, Kony’s eldest son whom Mr Museveni had promised to secure a job, claims that the persons the President tasked to organise another meeting with him at State House Entebbe have not been helpful.

“Right now, the biggest challenge is that all the channels that were created by the President for us to access him are being blocked, we have tried all avenues, and all channels, but remember those were requests made by the President, and we cannot understand why they have changed suddenly,” he said.

On August 25, Mr Museveni met the family at State House Entebbe where he committed to improve the welfare of the fugitive warlord’s family.

“We will help them (the Kony family) to set up a commercial farm so that they work together as a company and then share the profits. All the children and the wives should be shareholders. This is what I have been telling all Ugandans,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, at the time.

Mr Ali Salongo Kony, another of Kony’s sons, also claimed that some people are deliberately blocking them from accessing the President (Museveni).

“I cannot name them but the President knows the people he is working with. Following our discussion with him at the State House, there was a path created for us to reach him easily but right now that path has been blocked and interfered with,” Ali said.

State House speaks

When contacted, Mr Faruk Kirunda, the deputy senior presidential press secretary, said he was unaware of any other planned meeting between Kony’s family and the President.

“I cannot comment over the family’s claims, because I do not have any details (about a planned meeting),” Mr Kirunda said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Kony’s wife, together with their children, arrived in Gulu City on July 1.  They had been repatriated to Uganda with support from the Ugandan Embassy in South Sudan.

The family was led to the home of Pageya Clan chief Joseph Adek that same night before he also informed security about the group’s presence.

On August 24, he was invited to accompany the family to State House Entebbe for a meeting with the President.

Meanwhile, dramatic scenes unfolded during the State House meeting in which three members conflicted over who twook care of one of Kony’s eldest sons, Moses Komakech.

According to a source who attended the meeting, the drama started when Mr Thomas Otim, Kony’s brother-in-law, rose to forcefully remove the microphone from the hands of Rwot Adek, claiming that he lied about taking care of Komakech.

“Rwot Adek declined to hand over the microphone to Otim during the misunderstanding before the President, until the microphone had to be removed from them,” the source said.

Earlier, Rwot Adek had distanced himself from Kony’s family on claims of disrespect and betrayal.

“I welcomed the family as a clan chief and a personal friend to Kony, but I now feel betrayed. Since we returned on August 26, nothing has improved, instead, they disrespect me and they have relocated from my house to a new rental unit,” he said.

Rwot Adek also stated that the family declined to honour the request of Gulu Archbishop John Baptist Odama to meet them since he was the mobiliser.

 In an interview, Mr Otim accused Mr Adek of imposing himself as the caretaker of Kony’s children, a responsibility he held when the children were young until the eldest son (Komakech) graduated.