FERUARY 3, 2010: Acholi Cultural Head Rejects New Lamogi Clan Chief

Acholi Cultural Head Rejects New Lamogi Clan Chief
SOURCE: Daily Monitor
By Sam Lawino and David Okumu

Amuru — The battle to oust Lamogi chief Rwot Otinga Otto Otuka Yai has taken a new twist after the Acholi Paramount Chief reportedly refused to recognise his replacement. Rwot David Onen Achana II said he will not recognise the new chief, Mr Paul Olango Loka, whom Lamogi clan members had proposed to take over office.

Mr Olango's coronation is scheduled for Saturday in Olwal Goro in Lamogi Sub-county Amuru District. Mr Achana told Acholi chiefs in Gulu last week that the move to oust Rwot Otinga is political, aimed at disorganising the Acholi cultural administration. "Why remove him now after working for eight years, I will not allow that to take place" he said.

Rwot Ottinga is the substantive deputy to Rwot Achana II.

Last week, Lamogi clan chiefs endorsed Mr Loka, the son of the late Lamogi chief Otto Yai, to replace Mr Otinga. They accused Mr Otinga of alleged graft, meddling in politics and land matters. Mr Otinga denies the accusations.

Earlier Stand

Acholi chiefdom prime minister Kenneth Oketa had earlier said the institution is ready to endorse the decision made by Lamogi people. "We, as an institution, have nothing to do with decision of clans and we shall wait for what they will present and endorse it," he said then. But Rwot Achana ruled out the possibility of working with Lamogi's new chief. Mr Otinga, who met a group of Acholi chiefs over the weekend, dismissed claims that he has been sacked.

Still Chief

"I am not bothered by the move. I am still in power representing the clan at all functions and Achana is my supporter," Mr Otinga said on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Gulu deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mr Milton Odongo, has vowed to deal with those behind the dethronement of Mr Otinga. "That move is unconstitutional," he said over the weekend.

Currently, there is no law that spells out how a clan chief is dethroned but traditional means include force upon failure to obey decision of the clans.