“Rwot David Onen Acana II, must evacuate Ker Kwaro Acholi and go home in his area, if he doesn’t, we will use first mediation in Acholi we don’t want to expose our dirty lenient in public. Otherwise we shall be forced to use legal action.”
GULU CITY- WEDNESDAY, 19, 2023. Rwot Richard Santo Apire, the newly Chair-Interim Leadership Ker Kwaro Acholi maintains his position as the recognized legitimate Lawii Rwodi of Ker Kwaro Acholi despite adamant from former Lawii Rwodi Onen Acana II refusal to leave Acholi chiefdom palace.
Adds position of Lawirwodi not hereditary, it is important to state that the position of Lawirwodi is not hereditary hence and Rwot can become a Lawirwodi once elected into office by the majority of Rwodi Acholi (57) without external influence, pressure and duress, and may be removed as Lawirwodi at the discretion of the majority of Rwodi Acholi based on legitimate and judicious decision, Rwot Apire while addressing press conference at his palace in Lacor center Gulu City outskirt warns.
Rwot Apire narrates, since the office of Lawirwodi was introduced in 1898 by the British Colonial Administration, and the Lawirwodi was Rwot Awich of Payira (appointed in 1911 after the establishment of Gulu Town) insists that not only Payira Chiefdom has been providing Lawirwodi or Laloyo Maber, but also others such as:
Rwot John Peko Lugai in turn names them as follows; Atiak Chiefdom (Rwot Olya 1912-1923), Agago Chiefdom (Rwot Matayo Lamot was the first elected Lawirwodi beating Rwot Odida Yonah of Payira; 1950-1953), Pajule Chiefdom (Rwot Adonga Pilipo: 1953-1963), Atiak Chiefdom (Rwot Oryem Lodoviko: 1961-9163), Pajule Chiefdom (1963-9167)
Rwot Apire names his members of the interim leadership consists of Rwot Richard Santo Apire of Atiak-Chairman, Rwot John Ogenga Obita of Labongo Amida-Vice Chairman; Rwot Peko Lugai John of Pajule-Finance, Rwot Collins Muttu Atiko II of Patiko-Coordinator, Rwot Michael Ojok Aginya of Bwobo-Coordinator and Hon. Okello Francis Mawa-Spokesperson.
The interim leadership has been mandated to restructure KKA institutional system in order to improve its effectiveness and efficiency, transparency, credibility and accountability; to develop and present a Constitution for the approval of the Council of Rwodi Acholi. It is regrettable that other resources’ claims that the position of Lawirwodi is hereditary are emanating from the problem of Ker Kwaro Acholi being run without a Constitution or succession guidelines.
Other mandates of the interim leadership include the period to carry-out all these exercises has been extended from 3 to 6 months during the meeting held by Rwodi Acholi in Kitgum Municipality on the 8, July, 2023.
Rwot Apire outline the major constraints of Ker Kwaro Acholi (KKA) is the umbrella body established in the late 1890 during the Colonial Administration and was re-ignited in the 1990s to bring all the Acholi traditional entities (chiefdoms) together. In particular reference to the last twenty years or so since the restoration of cultural institution by the NRM Government in the 1990, Ker Kwaro Acholi has met some serious challenges, and has in some respects not met aspirations of Rwodi Acholi and Acholi community as a whole.
Thus, Ker Kwaro Acholi from its current status and form, needs to change to meet the new challenges in our Acholi society today. The challenges include:
Illegal registration of KKA as a Business entity owned by Rwot David Onen Acana II personally; the running of KKA without a Constitution hence the main causes for the reported malpractices and abuses of office of Lawirwodi; and as well as wrangle over succession matters;
Property and land of KKA registered in the name of Rwot David Onen Acana II personally owned by him; the tendencies of imposing persons of own preferences by Lawirwodi on certain chiefdoms having parallel administration hence under-minding the authority of the recognized Rwodi creating deliberate disunity, insecurity and hatred amongst the people of the affected chiefdoms.
The impact of climate change and degradation of the environment by both human activity and forces of nature is slowly and surely destroying the countryside. Other urban areas are grappling with youth restlessness, rampant teenage pregnancies and early marriages, and school drop-outs.
Currently we have the incessant insecurity to life and property occasioned by cattle rustling in Agago, Pader and Kitgum districts, also there is unrest and tension in Lamwo district between refugees from South Sudan and the host communities.
Lastly, there is a continued need to resolve the very contentious conflict in Apaa. In relation to all above challenges and others, on behalf of the Interim leadership, he calls upon his people to come and join us in this struggle and work together in order to bring the desired to address the challenges outlined above.
“It’s true that the prolonged Lord Resistance insurgency impacted negatively on our lives, but I appeal to our people to stop lamenting and move to action. They must build trust in themselves, have hope in life, let them put all their efforts to work hard so that they are able to achieve or progress in whatever they do. We are stronger together-let everybody including those who do not agree with our position come without fear as our door is left open and free to all ” Rwot Apire appealed.
Repeating that our door is open to any group wishing to meet with us on condition that we are informed in writing with a clear agenda and purpose stated in, it is not enough to call the interim leadership using social media, for instance through radio announcements.
We are soon setting the constitution making team to get started, hence our humble appeal to those who have identified to willingly join us in order to add value and contribute to those objectives. On completion of this important task, I expect that we will be highly represented by the Acholi community, and trusted by our development partners and our stakeholders.
Rwot Apire revealed that the new interim team after realizing that Rwot David Onen Acana had registered Ker Kwaro Acholi an entity, they have moved to Company Registrar and registered stratified copy of the said KKA company liability to avoid adding more names.
On 15,10, 2023 we shall represent KKA the Constitution document report, and on 15, 12, 2023 we are calling for election of Lawirwodi, every chief is free to come and contest for the position of Lawirwodi, even Rwot David Onen Acana II, being one of the chief from Payira chiefdom is free to contest and be elected.
However, my fear is that because of his past record, he cannot be elected. Rwot Apire insists that land in Acholi is not for sales, but whoever wanted to develop and hire for 45 years or 95 years. We have a strategic committee about land education that the KKA constitution will address.
He comes out with road map strategy among other is about insecurity in Agago where the Karamojong worries they are killing, maiming raping children, women, looting property, including livestock. Another role of the interim KKA is protecting customary cultural institutions against foreign influence.
His concern was to see the Acholi community being economically empowered, currently Acholi Sub Region according to the poverty Index they are the poorest with 64 percent poverty rates.
Rwot Lugai John Peko of Pajule chiefdom revealed that there 34 chiefs who are ally to Rwot Apire interim chair of KKA, while 22 chefs who are siding with Rwot David Acana II, dismisses information being circulated by Rwot Acana that during their meeting held on 8, July, 2023. Rwodi Acholi who had turned out for the meeting at KKA was 40 chiefs, that is only the propaganda emanated from Rwot Acana to hoodwink the population to believe that the former Lawirwodi David Onen Acana II, have more supporters than Rwot Apire.
“This is the list of Rwodi who have attended the meeting called by Rwot David Onen Acana, you can see only 22 chiefs, 4 other people who claimed to be chiefs are mere chairman of respected chiefdom, naming one from Adilang chiefdom.”
Rwot John Ogenga of Labongo Amida who came late and joined the press conference, stayed briefly, after introduction, excuse himself, but later on a sideline told the Black Star News that it seems that chiefs from Agago district are being hoodwink by Navision Kidega, Agago Residence District Commissioner RDC.
“I have just been from Agago District, I have talked to the chief of Paimol and others who have realized the problems of David Onen Acana II.” Rwot John Ogenga argued.
Key players’ chiefs who are backing up Rwot Apire interim chairman are as follows: Rwot Collins Muttu Atiko of Patiko chiefdom, Rwot Justine Ociti Binyi of Pagak Lamogi, Rowt Lugai John Peko of Paluo Pajule, Rwot Jimmy Ochan Luwala of Puranga, Rwot Michael Ojok Aginya of Bwobo, Rwot Pader, Rwot Patongo, Rwot Padibbe, Rwot Palabek, Rwot Koch, Rwot Pabbo.