By Markson Omagor
Incumbent NRM Flag bearers for directly elected Members of Parliament and lost in the recent Party primaries have all vowed to contest as Independents.
The first to declare was George Owanyi of Kasilo County who has been carrying the flag for two terms. Owanyi lost to Edonu Moses, a new recruit from FDC.
Owanyi rejected the outcome of the process saying that the election results announced at the tally center were not consistent with the numbers from the grassroots.
The results showed that Owanyi collected 4583 votes, against Moses Edonu’s 4,637 votes, a difference of only 54 votes, after the final tally.
Owanyi said that the elections were marred by massive rigging and that the tally by his agents gives him a win with a difference of eight votes.
In a face book post, Owanyi faulted the lack of a register claiming that his opponent who was largely backed by FDC sympathizers used even children to vote. He cited areas of Ogera and Kamod.
In many areas, according to Owanyi, there was multiple voting with the County Registrar showing obvious bias since he is related to Edonu.
Meanwhile, the Serere District chairman Joseph Opit Okojo also declared that he will contest as an independent candidate in the forthcoming general elections after losing the NRM primaries in the newly created Pingire County.
Opit who is a born of the County and being an incumbent LCV Serere district, naturally expected the flag to be his.
However, Opit was defeated by Fred Opolot in the NRM Primaries.
According to the results declared by Sam Orioko Ongodia, the Serere District NRM Registrar, Fred Opolot garnered 6,786 votes against 3,788 votes polled by Opit across 44 polling stations in the County.
But Opit denounced the results saying the elections were not credible.
He adds that the election process was marred by irregularities ranging from voter bribery and intimidation of voters by the security personnel.
He added that based on the dissatisfaction with the way the polls were held, he intends to contest for the race as an independent candidate.
The last to declare his intentions is none other than Bishop Patrick Okabe who lost his flag to new comer, Philip Oucor.
Okabe initially petitioned the NRM Electoral Commission arguing that there was massive use of ineligible voters i.e, underage children, none Party members and voter bribery.
However, when on Wednesday 7th October, the NRM Elections tribunal upheld Oucor’s win, Okabe went rural and announced his candidature as independent.
He said, he is taking the battle to the Serere voters to decide between him and Oucor.
“NRM members were denied the right to choose their flag bearer as non NRM members and those below 18 years of age were allowed to vote.” Okabe said in his petition.
Elijah Okupa, formerly FDC Party Flag bearer for Kasilo County has also gone independent. Okupa was thrown out by the Amuriat led FDC for not towing the Party line.
He together with Angelline Ossege, Woman MP for Soroti district and Herbert Ariko, MP Soroti Municipality were accused by the FDC Party amongst other sins of not remitting their monthly contributions to Najjanankumbi.
Consequently after failing to get the FDC Flag, Okupa chose to go independent with a poster that is everything apart from the wordings, FDC.