Africa-Press – Uganda. The election of the Kumam king, culturally known as Wonatekerin, was on Saturday called off after the interim steering committee failed to raise resolutions from more than 25 sub-counties needed to authenticate the process.
Section 4 of the 2011 Cultural Leaders Act stipulates that those aspiring to elect a cultural leader must come up with resolutions from all sub-counties where the particular tribe falls.
However, by Saturday the resolutions from sizable number of sub-counties had not been received nor passed.
The Kumam speakers have in the past years been classified as Iteso speakers under the Iteso Cultural Union (ICU) but now want their own cultural head.
Mr Alfred Ewatu, the lawyer who had been consulted to chair the election of the Wonatekerin, on Saturday said the election risked being challenged if the resolutions from all the sub-counties were not considered.
“It was an oversight. The interim steering committee didn’t know about law so they have to go back to the drawing board and expedite the passing of resolutions. A later date will be set for the election,” he said.
The event that was held in Kaberamaido town, attracted Kumam speakers from Kaberamaido, Kalaki, Dokolo, Amolatar and Soroti.
Mr Ewatu explained that the resolutions will be forwarded to the ministry of Gender, which is incharge of issues of chiefdoms and cultural leaders.
He revealed that of the five districts it is only Kaberamaido District that has passed resolutions.
Mr Robert Ewangu, the Kaberamaido cultural heritage constitutional affairs chairperson, said in October 2011, while commissioning the Principal Practice Rights & Responsibility Act on matters of culture and land, Emorimor Augustine Osuban, the head of Iteso Cultural Union gave their quest a blessing.
“After the election for Kumam cultural head, the new cultural leader will have to invite Emorimor for the benchmarking initiative,” Mr Ewangu said.
He added that according to the constitution promulgated by the interim steering committee , those eligible for elections for position of cultural king should have a minimum of Ordinary Level Education certificate, be a Kumam by birth, person of high repute and should have a presentable home to accommodate subjects.
Mr Ewangu revealed that motions will be passed in sub- counties and districts in order to have the Minister of Gender served with the proceedings leading to election of the cultural head.
Mr Victor Rex Ekesu, the Kaberamaido District chairperson, said the oversight was glaring but they didnot want to stand in the way of those hoping to see the Kumam cultural head elected.
Mr Charles Ocen Ebayu, the chairperson for Kumam Elders’ Forum, said the initiative besides preserving the Kumam cultural heritage will also aid the development of Kumam.
According to Mr Ebayu, the cultural head will be elected by heads of the 147 clans.He added that elected women, youth and persons with disabilities will also vote for Wonatekerin.
Mr Charles Okudepesa, the chairperson for Asuret clan, said they will sustain the cultural institution using fees levied on marriage certificates and registration of birth