War claimants to sue government again

Some of the Acholi war debt climants who turned up for verification in 2012 at their former offices in Gulutown. PHOTO BY CISSY MAKUMBI

Gulu- Members of the Acholi War Debt Claimant Association have threatened to drag the government to court again if it fails to effect their compensation before end of this month.

Speaking to Daily Monitor on Friday, the association spokesperson, Mr Pius Opio, said they have contacted their lawyers from Kampala Associated Advocates, who are working on the legal procedure in case payment in not remitted at the end of the month.

“The verification exercise has taken long and we are getting pressure from the claimants. If the government does not respond, we are ready to go back to court by the end of this month”, he said. Mr Yohana Obur, an 86-year old from Koro Sub-county, who is demanding compensation for 40 head of cattle, said instead of government paying the claimants, it is meddling in the affairs of the association.

“Getting back to court is the best option, otherwise some of us might die without ever seeing the money,” Mr Obur Said.

The association chairperson in Nwoya District, Mr Aldo, accused the government of using the verification exercise a ‘scapegoat’ to delay the compensation while the direct beneficiaries die due to old age.

However, In a telephone interview with Daily monitor at the weekend, the Solicitor General, Mr Francis Atoke, appealed to the claimants to be patient as the matter will be settled.

In 2006, more than 20,000 war debt claimants sued the government demanding for compesation of the animals and property lost during the insurgency in the northern region.

However, in 2007, government decided to settle the matter out of court and as per now the claimants have received a total of Shs12.1b, with the latest payment done in 2013.