Youth MP candidate disqualified over papers

Wednesday January 27 2021
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Bernard Onen Mutusa Odoi, Youth MP candidate for Eastern region.

By Anthony Wesaka

The Electoral Commission (EC) has disqualified Mr Bernard Onen Mutusa Odoi, a Youth MP candidate for Eastern region, on grounds that the academic papers he submitted for nomination are not compatible with his age.

The EC says the documents show Mr Odoi sat O-Level examinations when he was eight years old, which is improbable.

The EC says upon scrutiny of Mr Odoi’s academic papers, it was discovered that while the documents show he sat his O-Level exams in 1999, on nomination forms, he stated he was born in 1991.

This implies he sat O-Level when he was nine years old.

“…Given that the said candidate admitted he [Odoi] completed the Uganda Certificate of Education in 1999, this makes the date of birth of August 28, 1991 improbable, given the mandatory years required for one to attain both primary and secondary education in Uganda,” the EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, ruled on December 31.

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“He definitely could not have completed O-Level education at eight years of age. In view of the foregoing, the commission found that candidate Odoi Bernard Onen Mutusa is ineligible to contest in the Youth MP elections for the said elective office envisaged under Section 8D of the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2005,” Justice Byabakama added.

On other nomination documents, Mr Odoi said his voter registration details indicate he was born on August 27, 1990, making him 30 years old at the time of nomination.

However, the birth certificate issued in March 2005 by Tororo District administration shows that he was born on August 28, 1982, making him 38 years old and thus ineligible to contest for the said seat.

The EC accordingly cancelled Mr Odoi’s nomination as a National Resistance Movement party candidate.

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

He said Mr Odoi was aged above 30 and thus ineligible to contest for the position which is meant for youth candidates aged below 30 under Section 1(g) of the National Youth Council Act.

The election of regional youth representatives to Parliament is slated for February 1.

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