NRM’s Odoi declared eastern youth MP-elect amid voter bribery claims

NRM's Bernard Odoi Onen Mutusa, the nelwy elected Youth MP for Eastern region. Photos/ Yahudu Kitunzi

What you need to know:

  • Some delegates who participated in the exercise were left stranded at the venue after failing to get money allegedly promised by NRM party officials who sponsored Mr Odoi.
  • Odoi's contestants have vowed to petition court on allegations that the exercise was marred with irregularities including voter bribery 

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate, Mr Bernard Odoi Onene Mutusa, has been declared winner of the hotly contested Eastern Youth Parliamentary seat.

Mr Odoi, who was previously disqualified from the race on allegations that the academic papers he submitted for nominations were not compatible with his age was declared winner by the regional returning officer, Mr David Anyanzo, on Tuesday morning after garnering 967 votes. His closest contender, Ms Sumaya Aliza Balunywa got 448 votes cast by delegates from the different districts in eastern Uganda.

Earlier, the Electoral Commission had disqualified Mr Odoi for being over age and that he was not eligible to contest for the seat.

The EC also said the documents Mr Odoi presented for nomination indicate that he sat O-level examinations when he was eight years old, which is improbable.

 However, the court reinstated him on Sunday- just a day before elections were held- after it ruled that it was illegal for the EC to disqualify Mr Odoi based on unsubstantiated allegations.

The nomination of Mr Odoi had been challenged by one of the contestants in the race, Mr Judas Thadeo Wanyama.

Other contestants are; Ms Jackline Ajego who polled 208, Mr Judas Thadeo Wanyama who got 105 votes and Mr Alfred Ongwen who got 11 votes all independents. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate, Mr John Solomon Nabuyanda got only one vote.

The supporters of Ms Balunywa have rejected the results saying the exercise was marred by voter bribery and pledged to go to court.

Mr Solomon Nabuyanda of FDC, has also rejected the results saying the election was not free and fair.

“This election was not free and fair and I am not contented with the outcome. The court reinstated someone who had been disqualified from the race. We are going to court,”Mr Nabuyanda said.

The voting for the Eastern youth MP seat kicked off at 11am at Mbale Secondary school in Mbale city amid police and army deployment to avert any possible chaos.

The Elgon region Police Spokesperson, Mr Rogers Taitika said they deployed heavily after getting information that there were some people who wanted to disrupt the exercise.

However, some delegates who participated in the exercise were left stranded at the venue after failing to get money allegedly promised by NRM party officials who sponsored Mr Odoi. They told this reporter that they were promised Shs270, 000 each.

Mr Odoi will replace Mr Isma Mafabi who joined Parliament as an Independent candidate after losing in the NRM primaries.


Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.