Alaso joins race for Serere MP seat

Former Serere Woman MP Alice Alaso

What you need to know:

She will also tussle for the seat with four more candidates come February 23

Former Serere Woman MP Alice Alaso has announced that she will contest for the Serere County parliamentary seat that fell vacant after the incumbent, Patrick Okabe, died in a motor accident last month.

Ms Alaso , who is also the national coordinator of Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party, will be jostling for the seat with Mr Emmanuel Omoding Okabe, the son of the late MP; Phillip Oucor, the NRM party flag bearer; and two independents, Emmanuel Eratu and Martin Ongurucu.

Ms Alaso, who has twice lost the Serere Woman MP race to Ms Hellen Adoa, at the weekend asked the people to vote for her so that she can calm the political tensions in the area, which she says have been escalated by the ruling NRM party.

“The people of Serere shouldn’t be destroyed because there are different camps in NRM. I would like to appeal to the leaders of both groups, because I am an elder to Serere, please bring the temperatures down,” she explained at the weekend.

 Ms Alaso said she has gained enough experience in politics to deliver for the people and is confident of victory.

On his part, Mr Okabe, who has the support of some NRM members despite not having the party flag, said he comes to keep alive the poverty eradication projects, which his late father started in the 250 villages of Serere County.

“It is not definitely about me; it is about the people, and together, we can turn things around, and from there, we can shape the Serere we want,”   he said.

The late Okabe stood as an independent after the violent NRM primary elections, which he lost to Mr Phillip Oucor.

He then defeated Mr Oucor to the parliamentary seat in the General Election.

Mr Oucor, the NRM flag bearer, who is returning to contest for the seat, says he will build on the existing party grassroots structures he built in 2021 campaigns to attain victory.

However, he faces a tight race since the existing Serere NRM leadership appears to favour Mr Okabe.

But Mr Oucor blames the current disagreement in the party leadership on a few sub-county NRM leaders whom he says are trying to favour the late MP’s son.

“The flag, I am carrying in trust of the party, was given to me by the people of Serere, and it’s in their trust that I am offering to contest,” he said on Saturday.

Mr Eratu, a local artiste, said he is well placed to lead the people of Serere County, adding that his candidature as an independent will not sow seeds of disunity.

“Serere County more than ever, needs a unifying factor, an independent candidate who is not leaning to any party, and determined to restore peace and unity among the people and commit to development of Serere County,” he explained.

Eng Onguruco, who came third in the 2021 MP race, said fronting a son to step in the shoes of the father wasn’t brought up in a proper manner.

“It seems like the people of Serere have no say in making a political choice,” he said.

He said what is happening, if not handled well, may break up the ruling party.

Eng Onguruco since he has been close to the people, he is ready to spearhead development in the area.


The Electoral Commission has set Thursday, February 23, as the polling date for the by-election in Serere County.  According to the roadmap, the display of the voters’ register will be conducted from January 23 to February 1, 2023, at 138 polling stations. The nomination of candidates will be conducted on February 9 and 10, and be followed by campaign meetings, which will be limited to only nine days from February 13 to February 21.