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HomeNATIONALBONIFACE KOLOBE: Why Kingship is Foreign To Ateker Confederation

BONIFACE KOLOBE: Why Kingship is Foreign To Ateker Confederation

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Installation of kings within the Ateker-Uganda Chapter is raising a serious concern, especially in the context of the growing call for pan-Atekerism.

Historically, Ateker societies did not practice centralized kingship/chieftainship systems. The introduction of chieftainship by the colonial administration in tribes that lacked centralized governance was a means of exerting control and manipulation. Chiefs were adorned in various regalia to project power and authority, and their positions were made hereditary.

The Turkana and some Ateker groups resisted this form of governance, considering it foreign and oppressive. With the attainment of independence, African nations drafted their own constitutions, intended to provide a framework for governance, based on the principles of self-determination and cultural preservation.

Therefore, the purpose behind the reintroduction or imposition of an oppressive colonial chieftainship or kingship system within the Karimojong community remains unclear. It raises questions about the efficacy of the current political and administrative structures outlined in the Uganda constitution. Is there a significant need to revisit traditional leadership, particularly one rooted in colonial oppression, when the existing constitutional framework should suffice?

Furthermore, this development prompts a crucial inquiry: does the Ateker-Uganda Chapter align with the broader Ateker identity? Is the push for pan-Atekerism consistent with the reestablishment of kingship? Balancing these external influences with the need to uphold Ateker values and traditions should be at the forefront of the discussion surrounding this initiative.

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