Kumam Cultural Leader Installed

Raphael Otaya has been installed as the first Kumam Cultural Leader. The installation also known as Won Ateker Papa Me Kumam marks the official breakaway of the Kumam community from the Iteso Cultural Union (ICU) under Emorimor.

Kumam community comprises people from Kaberamaido and Kalaki- predominantly occupied by the Kumam and other two districts of Soroti and Serere from the Teso sub-region.

The Kumam also covers the districts of Amolatar and Dokolo in the Lango sub-region. Six district councils unanimously agreed to be part of the Kumam community.

Otaya, 66, was elected in July 2022 in a race that attracted three other contenders.  He garnered 250 votes from the delegates conference conducted in Kaberamaido Town Council, beating William Egweu, Robert Ewangu, and George Michael Egunyu.

His coronation on Wednesday attracted thousands of people from within and outside the Teso sub-region including delegations from Buganda Kingdom and Won Nyachi of Lango.

Otaya’s coronation comes at a time when ICU leadership has had succession challenges after the demise of the first recognized Emorimor, Augustine Osuban Lemukol Adugala in February 2022.

Although Paul Sande Emolot was installed as Osuban’s successor, another faction within ICU establishments is still challenging his election in court.

Otaya was born on March 8, 1957, in Olel Village, Katine Sub County in Soroti district. He is married to Jane Akulo and the couple had nine children but two died, leaving four daughters and three sons.

He attended Katine Primary School where he sat for Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) in 1972 before joining Bishop Kitching College in Ngora for Grade II Teacher Certificate in 1976.

In 1981- 1983, Otaya upgraded to Grade III Teacher at Buwalasi Teacher Training College and obtained a Diploma in Teacher Education from the Institute of Teacher Education in Kyambogo between 1988 and 1990.

Otaya worked as a teacher at Amuucha Primary School between 1977 and 1986 before becoming a political mobilizer between 1987 and 1988. He later rejoined teaching as a tutor at the Institute of Education and was elevated to head of the science department at Soroti Teacher Training College between 1988 and 1995.

He retired as Head Teacher Grade 1, a position he attained from 1996 to 2004. Otaya has also worked as Liaison Officer under the Presidential Commission for Teso and served as board chairperson in different schools in Soroti district.

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