Why Lango Cultural mediation may be futile  

Eng. Micheal Odongo Okune taking oath in 2017. His cultural leadership has been questioned. File photo

A committee constituted last month to bring together the two conflicting Lango Paramount chiefs in Mzee Yosam Odur Ebii and Michael Moses Odongo Okune is predicted to fall short.

Headed by Felix Okot Ogong, the chairperson Lango Parliamentary Group, the committee was setup in April to meet the two warring rival paramount chiefs and resolve their impasse.

Other members on the committee include High Court Judge Justice Rubby Opio Aweri, Bishop Emeritus of Lango Dioceses, Rt. Rev John Charles Odur Kami and Human Rights lawyer, Daniel Omara Atubo among others.

The committee has the task to get to the roots cause of the wrangling between Uganda Road Fund (URF) boss Dr. Engineer Michael Moses Odongo Okune and Mzee Yosam Odur Ebii.

Yosam Odur in his new ride given by Museveni.
Rhino is the most respected animal and Lango symbol.

The committee, as of now, is faced with a challenge of harmonizing constitutions from the two factions and crafting it into agreeable legal document that works for a single cultural institution.

Meditation efforts have not started- two months after a meeting attended by some Members of Lango Parliamentary Group held at Lira municipal council hall. In that meet, a committee was formed.

Daniel Omara Atubo, a former MP of Otuke County in Otuke district, a proposed member of this mediation committee says he was not aware that he was chosen among those meant to restore sanity at the beleaguered cultural institution.

“Am also hearing from people that I am among the legal team; am still waiting for them. If they ask me, I will take part in the mediation process,” the former Lands minister, Atubu told TND News last week.

According to Atubo, he has never received any formal invitation or a written communication asking him to give help restore the cultural mess through mediation. Atubo still promised to help when approached by his colleagues.

When asked on the possibility of the mediation, the Dokolo South MP, Hon. Felix Okot Ogong who is leading the mediation talks predicted possibility its positive upshot.

Felix Okot Ogong, MP Dokolo South.

Okot says the mediation will bring to an end the long feud between Yosam Odur Ebii and Dr. Engineer Michael Moses Odongo Okune.

“We were set to start but the recent fatal Gaagaa bus accident which claimed the lives of over 23 people disorganized the whole process,” Okot told TND News last week.

Okot further said they could not go on to summon the cultural leaders when the entire Lango was in a somber mood.

It should also be recalled that a day after the accident, Lango current Paramount Chief Yosam Odur held a media briefing and announced a halt on all cultural activities for a week.

That was to give time to Lango natives to mourn their fallen sons and daughters who perished in Gaagaa fatal road accident.

Mr. Okot, however says they will soon embark on a wide range of activities aimed at returning peace at Lango cultural institution.

“We will soon get to work. We will be consulting with clan chiefs, elders and the elites,” Okot said.

Committee faces vote of no confidence

One day after LPG members in a meeting held at Lira Municipal council hall announced the committee; the camp of Dr. Moses Odongo Okune who’s another Paramount Chief objected the mediation team and process and they declared lack of trust on some individuals involved.

Willy Omodo Omodo, Okune’s information minister called several FM stations in Lango denouncing the mediation process and in particular, attacked the chairperson Lango Parliamentary Group, Felix Okot Ogong accusing him of having a bias mind.

Eng. Odongo Okune after enthronement.
Mzee Yosam Odur Ebii 2nd from right at a recent function.

Omodo alleged that Okot and his committee would favor Mzee Yosam Odur Ebii whom they (some committee members) want to remain in leadership.

They later wrote to government institutions asking them to cut ties with Yosam Odur and to deny him funds for Lango palace construction.

Why the mediation might fail

This is not the first time that efforts are being made to create peace between Yosam Odur and his once blue-eyed boy and his former minister in charge Diaspora, Dr. Engineer Odongo Okune. The feud started way back in 2012.

The last attempt to bring the two men to a single table was when Lawrence Johnson Ochola arranged a mediation talks held at Karuma’s Heritage Gardens. In that meet, a power sharing agreement with both sides was hatched.

However, the infamous Karuma Peace Agreement of 2015 did not see the light of day.

The disunity among Lango MPs is expected to prolong mediation talks and or bring unity among Lango top cultural chiefs.

Since the passing of the age limit amendment bill into law last year, TND News has learnt  of a cold war among those who voted No and Yes and those who voted for or against are not seeing eye to eye.

So far two meetings held at Lira Municipal council hall to try to get answers to the leadership wrangles at Lango cultural institution has seen only few MPs attending.

They include Erute South MP Jonathan Odur, Tonny Ayoo of Kwania and Okot Ogong

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