What you need to know:
- The seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal ruled that the incumbent, Mr Derrick Orone, was irregularly elected following a petition by his rival, Mr Issa Taligola.
Three candidates have been nominated to compete for the Member of Parliament (MP) seat for Gogonyo County in Pallisa District in the by-election slated for August 11.
The seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal ruled that the incumbent, Mr Derrick Orone, was irregularly elected following a petition by his rival, Mr Issa Bantalib Taligola.
The trio was cleared in the two-day exercise, which ended on Tuesday. They include Mr Orone, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flagbearer, Mr Issa Taligola (Independent), and Mr Joseph Okoboi Opolot, the National Unity Platform (NUP) flagbearer.
The Pallisa District Electoral Commission (EC) administrator, Mr Daniel Othieno, said the nominations exercise was peaceful.
Mr Othieno said four people picked the nomination forms but one, Mr Micheal Emuron, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flagbearer, failed to meet the required academic requirements.
“I want to caution the nominated candidates to observe the laid down guidelines and keep time during the campaign period, which begins on August 4 [today],” he said.
Candidates speak out
After nomination, Mr Orone, accompanied by high profile NRM cadres, including the party’s director for mobilisation, Ms Rosemary Sseninde, said he intends to accomplish his manifesto he had made with the people of Gogonyo, if re-elected.
“I request the voters not to disappoint the NRM party [because] I want to accomplish what I had started,” Mr Orone said.
Ms Sseninde told journalists that NRM is very strong and capable of winning this election with ease because the area “has no Opposition”.
“We urge the people of Gogonyo to vote for the NRM candidate for effective service delivery,” she said.
Mr Taligola, while addressing journalists, pledged to offer transparent and effective representation in Parliament if voted.
“My walking in gumboots and a stick is just a symbol to show that the people of Gogonyo are typical farmers and need a voice because for decades, they have been marginalised,” Mr Taligola said.
He added that the county is among the poorest in the country due to poor representation at the national level.
“Do we continue to live like this? No, we must change it by electing capable leader, and that is me, Taligola, who can make fundamental change,” he said.
Mr Taligola formerly served as Pallisa District chairperson and also a guild president of Makerere University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa.
Mr Opolot, the NUP flagbearer, who was accompanied by Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambeshe, said if elected, he intends to improve the quality of education in the area.
He also pledged to agitate for all teachers’ salary enhancement because he knows the suffering teachers are undergoing.
“The general situation in terms of service delivery is indeed appalling. This needs leaders like me to effectively address them,” Mr Okoboi said.
Mr John Bosco Okello, the FDC party chairperson for Pallisa District, said the people of Gogonyo need a person who will unite them, lobby for services and cause economic development in the constituency.