Teso Artistes at War Over President Museveni’s Donation
By Nathan Eyagu
A number of Teso artists on 18th August 2021 confronted the Teso Musician’s Association Chairperson, Johnson Otinga asking for the accountability of the Shs85m that was given to the association by the President in 2019.
Otinga who had called for a short meeting with the artists and media personnel present after the singer Clever Spiders wife was laid to rest, received verbal attcaks from a majority of the artists.
This was after he asked them to vote for team leaders at district level so they can get financial assistance from the ongoing ug connect project in Gulu city led by the country’s Operation Wealth Creation head, Gen Salim Saleh.
Julius Opado a.k.a Dolopiko, Teso’s renowned comedian blasted Otinga while asking for the 85mugx that was given to the association as artists are still living in a miserable state.
‘’Where has the 85m ugx that was given to Teso artists gone, the orange seedlings that you talked of planting, where are they, our names cannot be used while others are benefiting, lets concentrate on the accountability of the 85mux before we proceed to the ug connect project that we are sure of getting the money but some of us may not even have a taste of that money,’’ Dolopiko roared.
‘’I want us to look at the past before we look at the forward, for me am not affected by this Covid-19 although am affected, I can access parties and make money but some others only perform in music and the shows are not there, we look at you as our mentor but some things are letting us down.’’ Dolopiko roared.
Dolopiko also added that he was once given a responsibility as a mobiliser in the group but was later kicked out after the Sacco got the money something he described as unfair as only those close to Otinga enjoyed the money.
Mr. Bones, the speaker of Kumi musicians association also explained that after they came back from the funeral of the late comedian fortune butto, they were told to write down their names after they heard about a musicians association formed in Soroti but were surprised on how the files got lost.
‘’We artists in Pallisa have no connection with the other neighboring tribe called Bagwere who have ignored us and now even the Iteso whom we look at as our own are letting us down,’’ brother Tom, a gospel artist from Pallisa district said.
While replying to the allegations made by Dolopiko and the artists, Otinga explained that it was true Dolopiko was selected as a member for mobilization in the committee. He added that Dolopiko was not fully a registered member and consequently withdrew after he feared to pay the membership fee of 50k.
Dolopiko refute this allegation saying he wasn’t communicated to.
‘’There were about two to three groups of artists registered differently outside the Teso musicians Sacco, one group didn’t want to be registered rather they wanted to receive the money but those who joined the Teso musicians Sacco benefited, Dolopiko who didn’t register in the Sacco didn’t benefit but is now using his character traits,’’ Otinga said.
When asked by media to briefly explain the accountability of the same amount of money, Mr. Otinga said that he couldn’t explain it verbally but rather practically and requested anyone who needed to know how the money was being spent to pay a visit to his office.