The Omolo Clan in Omoro District is demanding blood compensation of Sh200 million for their subjects who were allegedly shot and killed by the Officer in charge of Opit Police Station.
Robert Olanya, the Omolo clan head who is an uncle to the deceased, Emmanuel Olanya told URN that they are demanding compensation of 100 Million Shillings for each victim from the Uganda Police Force as an entity for cutting short young productive lives and failing to protect their members.
The family is also demanding the police to provide 65 Million Shillings for the burial arrangements of the two cousins who were shot in the wee hours of Boxing Day by Sergeant Christopher Okot Bruce from Corner House Night Club in Opit Town Council, Omoro district.
Olanya, a sixteen-year-old pupil of Opit Primary School, and his cousin brother Simon Okema, aged 26, were all residents of Omolo Village also in Omoro district.
Olanya died on the spot while Okema succumbed to gun wounds at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital a day later.
According to police, the police officer had intervened to disperse a crowd that was reportedly fighting over a girl. However, he faced resistance from the crowd prompting him to open fire. The suspect was arrested and is in police custody.
Olanya told URN that all burial activities have been on halt pending communication from the police who were on Friday notified of their demands through Damalie Nachuha, the Aswa River Regional Police Commander, and Andrew Onyuk, the Omoro Resident District Commissioner.
The family has a budget of 32.8 Million Shillings to bury each of the victims.
Tentatively the burial has been set for Tuesday 3rd of January 2023 but it is bound to change.
Andrew Onyuk, the Omoro Resident District Commissioner confirmed receiving the demands and noted that they have engaged the police authorities about it as the law takes its course.
Damalie Nachuha, the Aswa River Region Police Commander has said they would first ensure a decent burial for the victims and have other matters discussed later. Blood compensation, known as ‘’culu kwor’’ among the Acholi kinsmen is meant to reconcile (mato oput) the perpetrator and the victims or their families.
The processes involve the relatives of the offender apologizing to the family of the victim after their intentions and the nature of the offences have been established.
Kwor Tobong is conducted when the crime committed was intentional, it is paid with five heads of cattle and above.
Another one is called ‘’Kwor Lek’’, this is done when you lead someone into death through your actions or words which were unintended. Its compensation is fair with not more than two cattle.
‘’Kwor Leb’’ is done when someone uses their tongue or words to cause distress to someone leading to their death. This is also considered fair and paid considerably.
It is also used in war instances in which when a war leader led his men successfully and killed the enemy, the same processes would be undertaken.
Blood compensation is also done when a clansmen say that the person has blood on his/her hands though it was to protect the people.
He is therefore cleansed of any blood and bad omen and would be tasked to step on an egg before entering the homestead.
The most recent public blood compensation ceremony in Acholi was witnessed between the family of the late Brigadier Pierrino Okoya Yere and Pageya Clan and his assailants of the Lamogi sub-clan of Pujwani.
The 14 million Shillings payment was meant to mend relationships between the two sides after the former confessed to gruesomely murdering Okoya and his wife Anna Akello in 1970.
Rwot Yusuf Okwonga Adek, the Clan Chief of Pageya who believes that blood compensation surpasses the judicial system says the practice helps to mend relationships, and heal wounds of the afflicted parties.
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