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Funding shortfall hindering operations of Acholi chiefdom

Subjects performing bwola dance, the Acholi Royal Dance during recent graduation ceremony at Gulu Univeristy – Photo by Dominic Ochola

Gulu, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | The Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot David Onen Acana II has decried inadequate funding which is hindering operations of the Chiefdom.

Some building projects of the institution at its headquarters in West Division of Gulu City are on a standstill.  The chiefdom’s programs to conduct sensitization on the importance of culture, instill traditional beliefs, values, principles and skills among over 1.5 million subjects across the eight districts of Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Amuru, Nwoya, Lamwo, Agago and Omoro are being hindered by resource constraints. 

Ambrose Olaa, the Prime Minister says that the chiefdom needs 600 million shillings annually for its operations. He notes that the five million shillings from the chiefdom receives from the government every month is inadequate. 

Rwot Acana, says that the Chiefdom is struggling financially to pay water and electricity utility bills every month. 

Moses Laker, a resident of Kirombe Parish in Gulu City argues that there is a growing mistrust in the affairs of the Chiefdom because the officials there are always quiet on critical issues like land wrangles that affect the livelihoods of subjects.

John Bosco Uhuru, another subject argues that the contribution of Acholi Chiefdom is not being felt by the vast majority subjects which have made many subjects to be reluctant to offer support  the institution. 

The restoration of cultural institutions in 1995 after they were constitutionally outlawed in 1967 has allowed kingdoms and chiefdoms to regain a measure of authority. However, they have largely depended on financial assistance from the government to survive and not the support of subjects. 

On August 1st, Rwot Acana II marked 21 years at the helm of the throne as the 25th hereditary cultural Chief of the Luo dynasty that began in 1420 from Shilluk, Bahr-el-Ghazal in Sudan. 

He was installed as the Payira Clan Chief in October 1st, 1999 after the death of his father, His Highness Rwot Justine Acana I and later in 2005, he was crowned the Paramount Chief to oversee 54 sub-clans of the indigenous Acholi. 

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