Uganda: Member of Parliment’s demand timely compensation of war claimants

Legislators have put government to task over failure to compensate persons affected by conflict and war in Uganda.

Hon. Jonathan Ebwalu (Ind., Soroti West Division) alluded to an order by the Soroti High Court that government must pay compensation to over 3,000 Teso war claimants who lost lives, animals and property between 1986 and 1994 and the 2003 LRA incursion.

“In the October 2023 ruling, court gave government six months within which to pay the people of Teso but nothing has been paid up to now. Government should tell us what plans they have to compensate the people of Teso, Acholi, Lango and West Nile,” said Ebwalu, during the plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa on Tuesday, 02 April 2024.

Hon. Linda Agnes Auma (Ind., Lira district) alluded to a record presented by the Attorney General of a total of 42,000 claimants to be compensated in Lango sub-region, noting that only 18,000 had been approved.

“We asked the Attorney General why the other 23,000 claimants were not approved but we did not get a clear answer,” Auma said.

Hon. Martin Muzaale (NRM, Buzaaya County) observed that many people affected by the Lakwena incursion in Busoga lost lives and property but have not been compensated to date.

The Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, committed to meet legislators from the affected regions to address their concerns, noting that government has paid out a total of Shs496 billion so far, in compensation claims.

“We are also in the budgeting process and we hope some money will be made available for this purpose and if it is, we will continue to remit money to the persons entitled to it,” said Kiryowa Kiwanuka.

Hon. Jesca Ababiku (NRM, Adjumani district) proposed that the meetings with MPs be held on a regional basis so as to critically analyse issues and take concrete positions.

The Third Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Rukia Nakadama promised to present the concerns to Cabinet, to consider inclusion of other regions in the quest for compensation.

In September 2022, while appearing before the Government Assurances Committee of Parliament, the Deputy Attorney General, Hon. Jackson Kafuuzi said that government at the time required Shs2 trillion to compensate victims of wars and insurgencies in Northern and Eastern Uganda, West Nile and the Elgon sub-region.

He told MPs at the time, that by the end of the 2021/2022 financial year, 30,339 out of 38,225 submissions from the districts had been reviewed, and 20,727 of them paid a total sum of Shs50 billion.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

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