THE cultural wrangle among Lango top cultural leaders fighting for the position of Lango Paramount Chief may come to an end if both factions agree to mediation talks, TND News Uganda can solely report.
While government of Uganda recognizes under pressure Lango Paramount Chief, His Highness Won Nyaci Won Deo Mzee Yosam Odur Ebii of Lango Cultural Institution now (Ker Tekwaro Lango) as First Lango Person (as in government gazette), another rival camp led by Dr. Eng. Michael Odongo Moses Okune believe they are legitimate.
In proving their legitimacy, Odongo, hours after Lira High Court outgoing Judge Dr. Winifred Nabisinde ruled in his favor, dismissing with cost cases of using force to topple Mzee Yosam Odur’s leadership, trying to bring confusion among Lango, he (Odongo) was driven to Lango Cultural Center (abila a’Lango) and ‘anointed’.
The 12 April 2018 occasion received mixed reactions from Lango senior men and women, young and old both at home and those in the Diaspora.
Some called for total disbandment of the dying cultural institution; others are demanding that the two Paramount Chiefs should resign for long lasting peace.
Amid such calls and demands, on the 19 April this year, Eng. Odongo Okune nominated persons to assume different offices in his cultural regime.
Among those whose names were nominated for vetting and approval by Council of Owitongi are; Luciano Opio Omara, the Okii-teki clan chief as Prime Minister, Nelson Omara Orech, the Ngila-acel clan chief as First deputy primer.
Odongo further nominated Willy Omodo Omodo from Pedi clan as Minister for Information and Guidance.
Those appointed as advisors were; JP Obonyo of Atekokwerowee clan, Col. Rtd. Tonny Otoa, the Abwor clan chief. Col. Otoa worked with Eng. Odongo Okune as Prime Minister and Diaspora Ministers respectively in Mzee Yosam Odur Ebii before they parted ways.
Beatrice Lagada, the former Oyam district Women MP belonging to Arak Ochola-yamyam was the only female person appointed as an advisor.
Her appointment, however, sounds a great shock to her as she revealed having no knowledge and hearing it for the first time.
Willy Omodo Omodo says those nominated were duly consulted and all agreed to take up their different cultural roles.
Speaking to TND News Desk on phone last week, Lagada had this to share with our TND News Desk.
TND News Uganda: I want to ask you on the appointment as an advisor to rival Lango Paramount Chief, Dr. Eng. Micheal Odongo Okune. Will you take the appointment?
Beatrice Lagada: Oh, where is this appointment? I am hearing from you. So am advisor? Then i have a big task of trying to bring sanity back to that institution. Hopefully i can bring in a positive influence? I pray so!
TND News Uganda: Are you surprised yet they say those nominated were consulted prior. What happened with a committee of five people proposed by Lango in Diaspora whom you were a member alongside MP Cecelia Atim Ogwal as chairperson? Did that initiative worked?
Beatrice Lagada: It was shot down before it took off by one side rushing to Court. So it became stillbirth.
TND News Uganda: Okay. Are you ready to work with parallel leadership?
Beatrice Lagada: At this point i have no idea what is expected of me, let alone what today. I pray a middle ground can be reached. That is what we; the big five were to work for. I wait to see if a window can be found.
TND News Uganda: Imat (how elderly women are called), ideally, don’t you see you are accepting to work with new cultural leadership? Hasn’t the window been found?
Beatrice Lagada: My dear, i was a CA (Constituent Assembly) delegate and understand better than most people the Genesis of that institution, why it came to be for people who are basically Republican-the Lango.
I’m also cognizant of the reasons of the wars and the debilitating effect it has on the performance of the institution. I’m not blind to the limitations it has and the fact that under other circumstances, it would have gone along way now.
Remember, i chaired the Committee of Gender that got government to make provisions for these cultural intuitions, including building them.
I’m therefore, the last person to be drawn into this conflict and i can only work towards a solution-specifically reconciliation not taking on the role of the Judge. And that requires a conversation, not a shouting match!