Over one million people to witness coronation of Lango Paramount Chief

Eng Dr Michael Moses Odongo Okune (right), the Lango paramount chief-elect attends a council meeting at Lango Cultural Centre in Lira City, on April 12, 2024. PHOTO/BILL OKETCH

What you need to know:

  • On April 12, the Council of Owitong or clan leaders approved the event steering committee chaired by the Government Chief Whip, Mr Denis Hamson Obua, also the Ajuri County Member of Parliament.

More than one million people are expected to attend the coronation of the former executive director of Uganda Road Fund (URF) as the new Paramount Chief or Won Nyaci, cultural leader of the Langi.

Eng Dr Michael Moses Odongo Okune, who was elected to the highly respected position of authority in Lango culture on March 1, 2024, will be subjected to a traditional ritual to be held in Lira City on November 2, 2024.

His coronation will mark the end of the reign of his uncle, Mzee Yosam Odur Ebii, who will vacate office on November 1.

The ceremony will be presided over by the council of elders, this publication has established.

On April 12, the Council of Owitong or clan leaders approved the event steering committee chaired by the Government Chief Whip, Mr Denis Hamson Obua, also the Ajuri County Member of Parliament. This committee has 15 sub-committees, according to Maxwell Akora, the steering committee vice chairperson, also Maruzi County Member of Parliament.

Security and first aid committee is chaired by Lira Resident City Commissioner, Mr Lawrence Egole, and deputised by Gen Innocent Oula, Mr Akora told the more than 120 clan heads gathered at Lango Cultural Centre on Friday.

He added: “The spokesperson of Uganda Police Force, Mr Fred Enanga, the Apac Resident District Commissioner George Abudul and 10 others are members of this sub-committee. Welfare and refreshments’ sub-committee is headed by the Alebtong Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Dorcus Acen and deputized by her Kwania District counterpart, Ms Kenny Auma.”

Finance and budget sub-committee is headed by Mr Paul Omara, the Member of Parliament for Otuke East Constituency in Otuke District and deputized by Dr Agnes Atim Apea, Amolatar Woman Member of Parliament.  

Transport and logistics is headed by Ms Santa Alum Ogwang, the Oyam Woman Member of Parliament and deputized by Apac LC5 chairperson, Mr Asanti Ikomba Odongo. Mr Peter Okello Oyo is the chairperson of coronation regalia and dressing. He is being deputized by Prof Willy Okullo, while Prof Opio Okaka Dokotum is the head of research, documentation and publication. Prof Okaka Dokotum is being deputized by Prof Otim Nape.

During the council sitting on Friday, the Paramount Chief-elect appealed to the various instituted committees to ensure they do a good job that will earn the Lango ethnic group life-long respect, honour and recognition.  

Eng Dr Odongo Okune announced that more than one million dignitaries from all walks of life – from Europe, America, Canada, Africa and other continents – will witness his colourful coronation.

“The outcome of your work will either place Lango in the world map or make it to disappear totally,” he said.

The Lango paramount chief further thanked President Yoweri Museveni for signing the Homosexuality Act and the Constitutional Court for upholding most provisions of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, including the death penalty in certain circumstances.

The Constitutional Court’s decision, however, entrenches discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and makes them prone to more violence, according to Human Rights Watch.

The court did strike down sections that restricted healthcare access for LGBT people, criminalized renting premises to LGBT people, and created an obligation to report alleged acts of homosexuality. 

“Here in Lango, we do not practice homosexuality and it’s not defined anywhere in our local dictionary,” Eng Dr Odongo Okune said.