Peter Lokeris, the newly appointed Cabinet Minister for Karamoja Affairs. PHOTO URN

Mixed Reactions Over the Appointment of New Karamoja Ministers

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A section of local leaders, churches, and elders in the Karamoja sub-region have expressed mixed reactions over the appointment of the Cabinet Minister for Karamoja Affairs.

Simon Peter Lokeris, the former State Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Chekwii County in Nakapiripirit district, was appointed as the new Cabinet Minister for Karamoja Affairs, replacing Mary Goretti Kitutu who was implicated in the iron sheets scandal.

President Museveni also replaced Agnes Nandutu with Florence Nambozo as a State Minister for Karamoja Affairs. However, the appointment of Lokeris, a native of the region, has elicited mixed reactions among political leaders, church leaders, and the elders’ council, expressing both optimism and disappointment.

Rt Rev Joseph Abura, the Bishop of Karamoja diocese, emphasized the importance of the new minister’s plans for transforming the region and urged him to work towards regaining the trust of the Karamojong people.

John Robert Adupa, the Lotisan sub-county chairperson in Moroto district, welcomed the new minister, viewing his appointment as an opportunity to address the challenges in the region effectively.

Adupa urged the minister to engage with local leaders and address the region’s problems collectively, emphasizing the importance of collaboration for development.

However, Ceaser Akol, the Moroto district speaker, cautioned against placing excessive expectations on the new minister, emphasizing the constraints posed by limited resources and the minister’s obligation to follow government guidelines.

Akol encouraged support for the minister’s efforts and urged the community to work together to address the region’s challenges.

Despite some optimism, some elders expressed skepticism about the appointment, questioning its efficacy in bringing about tangible change in the region.

Jackson Angella, an elder in Moroto town, criticized the President for repeatedly appointing Karamojong leaders who have failed to produce significant results.

John Bosco Akore, the secretary for Kotido Elders Council, highlighted the need for broader consultations to select leaders capable of uniting the diverse clusters within the region and addressing longstanding imbalances in service delivery.

Simon Peter Lokeris, a long-serving member of parliament and former state minister, brings a wealth of experience to the role of Minister for Karamoja Affairs.

As chairperson of the Ateker Union spanning Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda, Lokeris is well-positioned to navigate the complexities of regional governance and development.

*Source – URN*

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