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Move To Elect Rival Acholi Paramount Chief Flops :: Uganda Radionetwork

Move To Elect Rival Acholi Paramount Chief Flops

The organizers said they postponed the election after the met security officers. Police had blocked the planned election saying it was illegally being held.
14 Jun 2024 17:14
Aswa East River Region Police Commander Anataoli Katungwezi shakes hands with the interim Chairperson of Breakaway faction of chiefs Richard Santo Apire after a closed door meeting on Friday in Kitgum Municipality.

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A breakaway faction of Chiefs under the Acholi Cultural Institution has called off a meeting it had called to elect a new Paramount Chief of Acholi.

The move follows a resolution reached between the chiefs led by their interim chairperson Richard Santo Apire and security personnel during a close-door meeting held in Kitgum Municipality on Friday.

Apire was accompanied by John Peko Lugai, the cultural leader of Pajule-Palwo Chiefdom, Collins Atiku Muttu, the chief of Patiko Chiefdom, and John Ogenga Obita, the cultural leader of Koch-Amida Chiefdom.
The rival faction of chiefs had intended to hold the election of the new traditional leader of Acholi on Friday Police however stopped the meeting and blocked access to the venue alleging the exercise was illegal.

Rwot Apire told journalists on Friday afternoon, hours after engaging with Police officers in a closed-door meeting that they had agreed in principle with the security to postpone the election. The incumbent is David Onen Acana II.

Apire noted that they are to discuss with the security personnel and forge a way forward. He also denied that the police had arrested him.

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Apire however said despite being blocked from convening the meeting and holding the election, they had met all the needed requirements contrary to police allegations.

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Anatoli Katungwezi, the Aswa East River Region Police Commander said they resolved to postpone the meeting for security reasons.

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He however dismissed claims that the interim chairperson of the breakaway faction of the chiefs had been arrested and clarified that he had only been called for consultation.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of the Acholi Cultural Institution Michael Otim wrote to the Inspector General of Police to stop the planned election citing it as illegal.

Otim alleged that the breakaway faction was impersonating the cultural institution, forging of signatures of members of the Council of Chiefs, and illegally mobilizing funds on behalf of the institution.

Other concerns he raised to the Inspector General of Police were the alleged use of a fake stamp, headed letter, and producing documents among others a new constitution, rules of procedures, and guidelines for election.

Thirty-five cultural leaders on Friday turned up in Kitgum Municipality for the purported election. The incumbent Paramount Chief David One Acana II recognizes only 12 of those as legitimate chiefs.

Acholi has 58 chiefs from the eight districts of Agago, Lamwo, Pader, Kitgum, Nwoya, Amuru, Gulu, and Omoro.

Tension broke out at the cultural institution in June last year after a section of chiefs opposed to the leadership of Rwot Acana voted for his removal from office.

The chiefs accuse Rwot Acana who has been on the throne since his installation in 2005 of mismanaging the affairs of the cultural institution, failing to offer transparent accountability for funds, attempting to sell off the institution's assets, and failing to adopt a rotational leadership for the Paramount Chief position among the 58 chiefdoms. Acana has however denied all the allegations.

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