Acholi Chiefdom Turns To Federal Clan Structures

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Polly Phillip Okin Ojara the New Acholi Premier Pix Peter Labeja

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In short
The move follows years of unsuccessful attempts to harmonize cultural differences related to norms, beliefs and practices of reconciliation among the 55 clans that make up Ker Kwaro Acholi. Polly Phillip Okin Ojara, the newly Appointed Prime Minister of the Institution, says governing the 55 clans by a single Constitution will tantamount to gross violations of the rights of the different clans.

Acholi Cultural Institution, the Ker Kwaro, has abandoned the idea of developing a single and centrally recognized constitution to govern subjects of paramount chief, His Highness - Rwot David Onen Achana II.
 
The move follows years of unsuccessful attempts to harmonize cultural differences related to norms, beliefs and practices of reconciliation among the 55 clans that make up Ker Kwaro Acholi.
 
Polly Phillip Okin Ojara, the newly Appointed Prime Minister of the Institution, says governing the 55 clans by a single Constitution will tantamount to gross violations of the rights of the different clans.
 
Okin P. P as he is commonly known, says having federal Constitutions he termed as ‘guiding principles peculiar to the different clans’ will protect and preserve cultural diversities within Ker Kwaro Acholi.
 
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The Acholi Cultural Institution is currently running on the unwritten rule since government restored cultural leaderships. This lack of a single central constitution has been subject of debate among subjects for a very long time, with very little breakthroughs.
 
Okin who has been serving the institution as a Volunteer since 2006 before he was elevated to the Prime Minister’s office, says the Council of Chiefs - the Supreme Policy making Organ of Ker Kwaro Acholi is stuck on which direction to take.
 
Okin says the council resolved to have the palace of the Paramount Chief operated on manuals or frameworks he describes as 'guiding principles, discussed and endorsed by the Council in a General Assembly. He says the manuals will contain universally accepted principles and practices related to Financial and Assets Management, Marriage and Divorce, Land Use and Environment among others.
 
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The Prime Minister says unity can still be achieved among the different clans without a central constitution, under the wise counsel and guidance of Council of Elders who will work very closely with the Rwodi or Chiefs.
 
He says it is hoped operating on Federal Principles of Governance will facilitate the revitalization of strong informal justice systems, capable of addressing crucial issues left by the formal justice system.
 
The Prime Minister cites effective mediation in land conflicts, reconciliation and restoration of broken relationships among conflicting parties.
 
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Information obtained separately from Ker Kwaro Acholi reveals that several clans are already making own policies in Clan monthly general Assemblies to revitalize economic productivities and social welfares.
 
Ker Kwaro Paibona, in Awach Sub County, Gulu district under the leadership of Rwot Raimondo Torach, banned the use of electronic music systems at funerals to preserve culture of funerals and contain the spread of HIV/AIDS among subjects.
 
The Clan is also enforcing high moral standard and agricultural production by punishing members addicted to alcoholism and those guilty of family neglect.

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.

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