Last week a section of Acholi cultural leaders petitioned President Museveni for monthly stipends referring to similar leaders in the country receiving salaries yet leaving them out.
Presenting their petition to the presidential Coordinator Bosco Olak in Gulu city on Friday, 15 July 2022, the chiefs requested a salary between 500,000 - 1 million shillings since they serve the same roles as their counterparts in other areas.
James Onen, a member of the tribe, explained that Acholis traditionally have chiefs as leaders and acknowledged their roles but that it didn't validate their request for salaries.
“I think what they do is important, but I still don't think it should be the taxpayer to foot their bill for that,” said James Onen while commenting on the subject during The Fatboy Show.
Similarly, a co-presenter of the show Olive Najjuma queried the paid traditional leaders that the Acholi chiefs referred to, saying that as a Muganda, tribemates voluntarily pay traditional taxes such as obusuulu, etofaali, to the kingdom that takes care of the Kabaka.
“Baganda do it voluntarily and love to pay taxes without being asked. I would think that Acholi chiefs should make their people love them this much to the degree of taking care of them,” she added.
A contributor to the show said that subjects usually pay their leaders, hence there is no viable reason as to why the government should spend on them. He noted that Ugandans have “bigger” problems.
“It's a very irrelevant issue for traditional leaders to bring up. Let them appeal to their subjects, ask for cattle, but if their subjects reject their pleas, it means that maybe they are not as relevant as they think,” he said.
The Acholi Sub-region is composed of 56 chiefdoms. These are headed by the Paramount Chief David Onen Acana II. Earlier this year, Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja informed Parliament that the government is planning to pay cultural institutions a sum of 60 million shillings monthly.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.