Minister Opendi Rival Arrested Over Court Fees

Jacinta Ayo celebrating with her supporters at Mbale High Court after te court had thrown out Opendi. Opendi later appealed and won

TORORO: Police in Budaka is holding Jacinta Ayo over failure to pay Shs80 million court costs to Tororo Woman Member of Parliament, Sarah Achieng Opendi.

Tororo District Speaker, John Okeya said Ayo was arrested in Kampala on Friday 3rd May by Court Bailiffs and driven to Budaka CPS where she is currently being held.

Speaking to our reporter on phone, Minister Sarah Achieng Opendi confirmed that Ayo, the NRM flag bearer for Tororo Woman MP seat was arrested over failure to pay shillings 84 million court charges.

Opendi said she never pushed Ayoo to go to court after she lost the election and her running to court was a clear indication that she could meet the court expenses adding that its Ayoo’s time to reap what she sowed.

The Minister also blamed the NRM Electoral Commission Chairperson, Odoi Tanga saying he misled Ayo adding that he should help her meet the costs.

Minister Opendi was declared winner of Tororo Woman MP Seat after reportedly garnering over 62,000 votes. Her election was however challenged by her main challenger, Jacinta Ayo who had garnered close to 60,000 votes.

Ayo in a petition said that the Electoral Commission altered the results of the election in some polling stations to the advantage of Opendi. Ayo presented 52 affidavits to support her allegations. Among the affidavits are the declaration of results forms and tallying sheets.

She further alleged that Opendi or through her agents and or with her consent directly participated in voter bribery.

Robert Owere, a brother of Ayo said they are working round the clock to raise the money to pay the costs in order to have Ayo released.

Meanwhile the Ugandan Ambassador to Kenya, Phoebe Otaala was among the first to publically criticize the arrest saying the arrest of an NRM flag bearer for only Shs84 million is a shame for the political party in power.