Acholi Reconciliation Justice

The media as been abuzz with commentary that was ignited by photos of Matthew Kanyamunyu, while he was at the ancestral home of Kenneth Watmon Akena (RIP), the man he is accused of killing, showing him seemingly going through rituals that are part of Acholi reconciliation justice.

Kenneth Watom Akena (RIP)

It is fascinating how the focus is on the rituals and not the entire protracted process of obtaining a full accounting of what actually happened and the family finding acceptance of the accounting; and therefore, agreeing for the rituals to be held to publicly and symbolically close the matter.

The latest obsession with the rituals is whether it was Culo Kwor or Mato Oput that was going on in the photos. However, when one reads definitions of the two rituals, they are all arrived at after full accountability has been given by the offender and to the aggrieved or bereaved; and the latter has accepted it.

Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot David Onen Acana II and Culo Kwor

One thinks that it is actually feasible that in these troubling days of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic; and appreciating the costs involved in gathering families and clans of the concerned parties together for the rituals, it is feasible that these rituals could be combined and performed on the same day, after full accountability and reconciliation has been obtained by the two parties.

Acholi Paramount Chief Rwot David Onen Acana II and Mato Oput

Most importantly, sadly, some may be missing this great learning opportunity for us all to behold a justice system of an African First Nation of Uganda that has sustained and is still revered and practiced to date.

One cannot but appreciate how superior the Acholi Justice System is in nurturing peaceful co-existence as opposed to the punitive legal system that is of the nation-state Uganda; a bastardized version of that of the global-west.

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