War debt claimants paid Shs5b

Claimants. Some members of the Acholi War Debt Claimants Association open bank accounts in 2O13. FILE PHOTO

What you need to know:

The government promises to release more funds and appealed to the beneficiaries to improve their livelihood.

The government has released more Shs5.5 billion to at least 20,000 members of the Acholi War Debt Claimants Association as compensation for animals and property lost during the two-decade insurgency in the region.

This brings the total amount of money given to claimants to Shs12 billion out of the expected Shs35 trillion.

Presiding at the handing over of the cheques to district chairpersons at the weekend, the senior presidential assistant and director of special duties in the Office of the President, Maj. Kakooza Mutale, said only genuine claimants would be paid.

“This is the beginning of the compensation. More money is coming. We want to see improvement in your households,” Maj. Kakooza said. He said the government was ready to release another Shs5 billion in May.
In 2008, the government asked for out of court compensation after the association dragged it to court.

Mr Noah Opwonya, the chairperson of the association, said the response was a good gesture towards the Acholi.

“We should remain united and push for our needs. Conflicting will not take us far instead it will derail the government from sending in more money,” Mr Opwonya said.

Ms Lucy Ado, 50, a resident of Kitgum District, said: “We are very happy with the President. Let him send more money and we strengthen our relations.”

The association has been broiled in conflict, sparking fears among claimants that they would not be compensated.

Early this year, the former chairperson, Mr Norbert Adyera, held a verification exercise of the claimants and instructed them to open accounts at Orient Bank to wait for their money.

However, the Solicitor General, Mr Henry Oluka, dismissed the claims and assured the Acholi to work with only the association.