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Police Block Planned Election Of New Acholi Paramount Chief

Paramount Chief Rwot Onen David Acana II giving his speech during the graduation for second and third intake 2023 of the Acholi Sub-region Presidential Industrial Hub in Oding Village, Onyama sub- county in Gulu CIty on the 19th April 2024. Photo by PPU/Tony Rujuta.

By Christopher Oola & Opoka Denis

Police on Thursday afternoon sealed off Acaki Lodge in Kitgum Municipality, the venue where rival chiefs who broke off from the Ker Kwaro Acholi, had planned to hold election of the new Paramount chief on June 14, 2024 (Friday) saying the meeting has been suspended pending further consultation.

The group had invited all the gazetted 58 chiefs in Acholi for the said election which was later denounced by the group loyal to Rwot David Onen Acana, the Paramount chief of Acholi, at a meeting held on Tuesday at Ker Kwaro Acholi.

A statement issued by the Aswa East regional police commander, Anatoli Katungwesi says “after several engagements with the two concerned parties and stakeholders, and extensive consultations with the district security committee members, the organizers headed by Rwot Richard Santo Apire, who submitted a notification to letter on the 6th, June 2024, was advice to broaden their consultation” .

The statement adds that “No security clearance or guarantee will be provided for the meeting to take place and advise the community to avoid participating in search assembly and the hotel management has been informed not to host the meeting”.

ACP Katungwesi has since advised the group to seek for further guidance from the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, security agencies and the laws governing cultural and traditional institutions in Uganda.

The development comes more than 10 months after a section of chiefs broke off from the cultural institution and denounced the leadership of the Paramount Chief Rwot David Onen Acana II and his deputy Otinga Atuka Yai II.

The rival chiefs accuse Rwot Acana of among others failing to draft a constitution for the cultural institution ever since he was installed, attempts to sell off a piece of land belonging to the cultural institution, and poor leadership. The rival chiefs then appointed the Atiak Chiefdom leader Rwot Richard Santo Apire as an interim chairperson of a select executive committee to oversee the transition of leadership at the cultural institution within six months and the drafting of a legal framework to help govern Ker Kwaro Acholi.

Rwot Apire Santos the Clan Chief of Atiak

According to the new constitution was which gazzetted by the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development on month April, 19, 2024.the term of office of the new paramount chief shall be a five-year two term limit. During the elections, the chiefs shall also elect the speaker of the council of chiefs and two deputy Paramount chiefs to support the paramount chief.

This comes after a section of leaders and elders from the Acholi Sub-region have called on the government to withhold emoluments to Ker Kwaro Acholi.

The cultural institution head gets a monthly payment of 5 million shillings from the government to help in the execution of duties at the institution.

However recently, the Parliament approved a UGX60M monthly salary payment to traditional and cultural leaders, a directive that was issued by President Museveni

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