Ministry Of Defense Inches Closer To Compensating Ojapi Bomb Survivors

The valuation team members carrying measurements on Ojapi church of Uganda

BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU

MARACHA: SEPTEMBER 23, 2021

The Ministry of Defence is inching closer to compensating the 21 survivors of the 1991 bombing by unidentified foreign war planes of the Ojapi primary school in Maracha district.

The survivors in a petition to President Yoweri Museveni had asked for a sh10m compensation but on Wednesday, a verification and compensation committee from Ministry of Defence and representatives of chief government valuer carried out own damage assessment.

They were acting on a report generated by assessors from the UPDF 4th Division headquarters in Gulu who visited the scene of the attack on August 11, and met with the victims.

Lt. Col. Vincent Bakarwela and Christopher Ogirang who led the team directed some of the severely maimed survivors to report to Bombo military headquarters to be assessed by the military doctors.

They include two amputees Isaac Azabo and Philliam Debo who now walk with the aid of artificial limbs and Geoffrey Toko Aluma said to be living with a fragment stuck in his body.

For the 11-year-old pupil, Charles Driwale and Mary Jackson, a pregnant woman, who died during the raids, their next of kin were instructed to obtain affidavits from the Chief Magistrate and other supporting documents to qualify them to claim compensation. 

While Ronald Jatho and Elvis Rukudo from ministry of lands housing and urban development did valuation for Six staff houses at Ojapi primary school, a church, 4 church teachers’ houses, four houses belonging to Jackson Sadaraka, 2 houses of Joel Otoma and the school library that were flattened during the attack.

Valution team conducting assessment of damage caused by the 1991 bombing of Ojapi primary school in Maracha district

The officials said that they will also write a report on animals killed including 14 sheep belonging to Michael Afimani, the four sheep of Azabo, three sheep of Solomon Apadra and the four cows owned by Charles Yosa.

“Everybody in Uganda is concerned and is with you. All money that is to be disposed of needs evidence by professionals, your demanding sh10b but it cannot be paid without the input of government valuer, that is why they (valuation team) are here,” Lt. Col. Bakarwela said.            

Bosco Adrimundu, the head teacher of Ojapi primary school commended the team for being friendly and brave.

“They entered into the bushes to do measurements on the relics of the destroyed buildings to determine the value of the damages. They were friendly and explained everything for the victims without harassment,” Adrimundu said.

Ojapi primary school in the new Ajira sub-county, Maracha district was bombed on a Friday September 20, 1991 at about 11:45 am by two war planes suspected to belong to Sudan.

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