By Markson Omagor
The re-election of Serere County Member of Parliament hangs in balance as a voter drags him to NRM Electoral Commission for lack of requisite academic qualifications.
Bishop Patrick Okabe, the incumbent MP is being accused by Abraham Ochen, a registered voter of Idupa village, Obuin Parish, Olio Sub County in Serere district for lacking requisite academic qualifications.
The constitution of Uganda stipulates that for one to qualify for a Member of Parliament, he/she must possess an A ‘Level Certificate or its equivalent.
The petition before NRM Electoral Commission received on the 25th of August 2020, indicates that Okabe abandoned all the academic papers he presented to the same commission for purposes of his nomination in 2016 and has instead presented new ones.
The supplementary petition drawn by Kamugisha & Company Advocates wonders why the Honorable has abandoned the previous certificates he presented for purposes of the 2016 elections.
The petition is also querying a certificate of Mature Age/Aptitude Test Education allegedly obtained from Islamic University In Uganda (IUIU).
In a letter written to IUIU, the petitioners want to know how Okabe could have attained the same on the 16th of June, 2020 when the Country was on a lockdown and all Institutions of learning were closed.
However, when contacted, Bishop Okabe showed a certificate of Mature Age/Aptitude Test Education of IUIU indicating that he passed the test on 29th February, 2020 and obtained 77% thereby being admissible to any recognized University in Uganda.
Okabe also presented to NRM Electoral Commission a duly certified letter by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) indicating that he has completed formal education of Advanced Level standard or its equivalent basing on the IUIU Mature Age/Aptitude Test Education issued on the 16th June 2020.
The NCHE letter is dated 14th July 2020 and is signed and sealed by Executive Director, National Council for Higher Education, serial number NCHE/PAR/012/2020.
According to the NCHE letter, the decision was taken in consultation with Uganda National Examinations Board, (UNEB).
Instead Bishop Okabe says his opponent Oucor, maybe the one to be thrown out of the race for submitting copies of academic documents that are not certified.
“Oucor is in hot soup for submitting documents that were not certified, secondly the letter from UNEB was not duly signed by the Executive Director of the Board neither does it bear the Board’s seal,” Okabe told this reporter.