By Markson Omagor
The victory of Odoi Bernard Onen Mutusa as Youth Member of Parliament Eastern Uganda has been challenged in Mbale High Court today 15th March 2021.
The petitioner, Aliza Sumuya Balunya also a contestant for the same post, contends that Odoi is not a youth. Odoi garnered 967 votes to win the race beating his closest rival Sumaya Aliza Balunywa who scored 448 votes.
In the Election petition number 05 of 2021, Balunya is suing Odoi as the 1st Respondent, the National Identification and Registration Authority as the 2nd Respondent and the Electoral Commission as the 3rd Respondent.
Balunya insists that Odoi is not only above 30 years but actually over 39 years having been at or around 1982 or 1983.
In support of her petition, Ashraf Ashaba, Chairman Youth Council, Namisindwa District in Bugisu sub region, urged court to come to their rescue.
“We as youths are entirely behind Balunya who should have won this election if Odoi had not participated in an election he should not have. He also goes around bragging that it is President Museveni who brought him back into the election after EC denominated him,” Ashaba told the press.
Although details of the petition are still scanty, reliable sources intimated to this website that it is similar to an earlier one which compelled the Independent Electoral Commission to denominate Odoi on 31st December 2020.
Odoi later in January 2021 challenged the IEC decision to denominate him before Justice Emmanuel Baguma arguing that his Passport, NIRA verification certificate and National ID all confirmed that he was on the 27th August 1990 meaning by the time of his nomination, he was below 30 years and therefore eligible to contest.
And on the 31st of January, 2021, Justice Baguma upheld Odoi’s petition paving way for his eventual participation in the youth elections where he emerged victor.
The earlier petition challenging his nomination by EC however pointed out very many inconsistencies in the dates of birth all attributed to Odoi.
The petitioners then pointed out that UNEB results showed that Odoi sat for his O’ Level examinations in 1999 which is an impossibility if indeed Odoi was born in 1990.
The same petitioners still showed an A’Level certification from UNEB indicating that Odoi sat for these examinations in 2009.
Odoi’d birth certificate however reveals August 28 1982 as his birth date which makes him eight years above the maximum age for one to contest for a youth MP in Uganda.
The bio data obtained from Kampala International University where Mr Onen enrolled for his degree in Law reveals more shocking information about the “youthful” MP hopeful.
Even though it maintains the August 28 date of birth, the year changes to 1983.
Another controversy on this particular document is the years between S4 and S6. The document shows that Mr Onen was admitted in A level in 1999 and completed the same year. This would mean that in 1999, he completed 3 classes (S4, S5 and S6).