The Acholi Cultural Institution is facing a leadership dispute as chiefs claim to have ousted Acholi Paramount Chief David Onen Acana II.
The aggrieved chiefs are now asserting their intention to establish autonomy over the Acholi community by creating a new constitution.
According to the chiefs, the unanimous decision to remove Rwot Acana was reached during a sitting of the Council of Chiefs, gaining the council’s support to proceed with the constitution’s development.
The chiefs clarified that the position of Paramount Chief is ceremonial, with all Acholi chiefs being equal in status. The paramount chief merely serves as the chairman of the chiefs and does not have any executive powers.
They argue that the constitution will define the paramount chief’s role and the responsibilities of his cabinet members.
During a press briefing in Gulu City, the chiefs, led by Atiak chief Mr. Richard Santo Apire, disclosed their timeline for the constitution’s development.
They plan to present the draft constitution to the chiefs on October 15th, allowing for critiques for two weeks before adopting it as the new constitution.
On December 15th, a special sitting of all chiefs will be held to elect the new paramount chief.
However, Rwot Acana continues to occupy the chiefdom’s palace, which the aggrieved chiefs deem illegal. They intend to challenge his occupation in court if he does not vacate the palace.
Despite Rwot Acana’s efforts to consolidate support and develop a constitution, the other chiefs insist that his actions are unauthorized.
The trouble began on June 20th when 41 aggrieved clan chiefs claimed to have dethroned Rwot Acana and his deputy, citing corruption and mismanagement allegations during the construction of chiefs’ houses.
Additionally, they accused him of attempting to sell land belonging to the Acholi community and breaching protocol by entering other chiefs’ territories without permission.
In response, Rwot Acana believes that the agenda of the rebel chiefs is politically motivated and not in the best interest of the Acholi community.
He also clarified his stance on the land he attempted to sell, stating that it belongs to him personally and not to the chiefdom.