Soroti, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Up to 2,410 of the people who lost animals during the insurgency in Soroti District have been cleared for compensation.
The list was revealed by the Soroti District Communications Officer, Abraham Ekwaru during an exclusive interview with our reporter ahead of the launch of the compensation exercise today. President Yoweri Museveni is in Soroti today to launch the compensation of war claimants in the Acholi, Lango and Teso sub-regions.
According to Ekwaru, the list is extracted from the Teso Animal and Property Claimants Organization (TAPCO) and another list from Teso Claimants that he notes was sent to the Office of the Attorney General last year.
Ekwaru explains that the final list was sent by the office of the attorney general to the district for verification before they are considered for payment. He notes that the least person in the list claims six cattle while the highest claims 1,000 cattle, adding that most of the claimants are claiming between 10- 50 cattle.
More than 200,000 people dragged the government to court in the Teso sub-region in five different civil suits over compensation of lives and property lost during insurgency by the rebel groups, Karimojong cattle rustlers and government soldiers since 2005.
The suits are Okupa & Others Vs Attorney General Misc. Application No. 14 of 2005, Okupa & Others Attorney General, Civil Suit No. 122 of 2009, Ochen Julius & 200,500 Others Versus Attorney General, Civil Suit No. 292 of 2010, Geresom Eotu & Others Versus Attorney General, Civil Suit No. 230 of 2010 and Imodot & Others Verses Attorney General, Civil Suit No. 09 of 2012.
While Okupa and his group’s case was concluded in court and the government ordered to pay compensation for the affected persons, the government negotiated an out-of-court settlement in some cases and others still in court for hearing.
In 2009, the Lango War Debt Claimant’s Association also dragged the government of Uganda to court demanding compensation for the livestock they lost during insurgencies in the region, a case which ended with the High Court ordering the government to pay the claimants 2.9 trillion Shillings.
Although the list of claimants to be compensated in Teso is not yet clear, the government has verified 42,000 claimants in the Lango sub-region and at least 16,946 claimants from the Acholi sub region for compensation.