Govt unveils Program for payment of war claimants

acholi war

courtesy photo

The government has announced plans to start payment of war claimants in Teso, Lango, and Acholi sub-regions.

Jamba Simon Peter Kwagala, the Public Relations Officer at the Attorney General’s Office says the tentative date for the launch of the program is March 26, 2022, at Soroti University.

According to Jamba, the process for the verification of genuine claimants will continue even after the launch.

“The president will launch payment but that is not the end of it. Verification of genuine claimants will still go on until all the claimants are cleared”, he said.

During the presidential campaigns in 2020, President Museveni said that 150 Billion Shillings had been put aside for compensation of war claimants in the three sub-regions. Each sub-region was entitled to 50 Billion Shillings.

In September last year, the Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka said that the government had availed the money in the 2021/2022 financial year, for payment of claimants who will be verified.

President Museveni later directed the Office of the Attorney General to use National Identification Numbers(NIN) instead of Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) for processing compensation for war debt claimants since the issuance of TIN numbers was delayed and costly to the claimants.

The government has been battling court cases with war claimants from the three sub-regions for more than a decade.

In 2009, the Lango War Debt Claimant’s Association dragged the government to court demanding compensation for the livestock they lost during insurgencies in the region, a case which ended with the High Court ruling that the government pays the claimants Sh 2.9 trillion.

In the Teso sub-region, at least five civil suits have been registered in Soroti High Court over-compensation of lives and property lost during insurgency by the rebel groups, Karimojong cattle rustlers, and government soldiers since 2005.

Some of the cases were concluded as the court awarded costs to the claimants.

However, the government decided on an out-of-court settlement in some cases.

Richard Omongole, who has been representing Teso War Claimants said that he learned about the compensation launch on social media.

He, however, noted that the Teso sub-region has only about 30,000 claimants verified from over 300,000 that sought compensation from the government.

At the moment, new claimants seeking to be included in Ochen’s list are charged Sh 168,100 by the people employed in the office located along Serere Road.

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