This will be the first By-Election in this calendar year in the 11th Parliament, as the Serere County By-Election comes after a fatal traffic accident. The late MP Patrick Okabe won in the 2021 General Election on an Independent Ticket. Now, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) will return with vengeance.
So, the one that lost to late MP will return on the ballot now in February 2022. A year after the General Election in January 2021. Certainly, Philip Oucur feels it’s his time. Though, there are already pressure like in other constituencies to inherit or let the family hold on to the seat. That’s why the most unique candidate against Oucur this time around is the son of the late MP, Omoding Emmanuel Okabe.
There are other candidates in the race. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and National Unity Platform (NUP) have fielded candidates here, but to no avail. Neither has the voters or the candidates gotten any traction. The last election was abysmal for these parties. The Justice Forum (JEEMA) has issued a release for possible candidates, but I don’t think they will go anywhere.
Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) flagbearer is Alice Alaso Asianut, but she isn’t favoured either. Unless, she has a massive campaign. Therefore, I have little to no faith in the opposition candidates. The only that matters now is the NRM candidate and the son of the late MP.
The son of the late MP has the attachment and could easily use the sway of the father. It is striking that the NRM didn’t chose to do this, as they did in a previous By-Election. When they let the son of the late speaker Jacob Oulanyah become the flag-bearer. This time around the NRM Electoral Commission didn’t allow it and ensured that Oucur could stand again.
Therefore it’s interesting, because the NRM has become a party of nepotism and favouritism. The NRM flag-bearer is a rumoured wealthy fish-farmer. If so… maybe, he has sway and fortunes to bound himself to the candidacy. He has actively campaigned and put himself in the spotlight after the accident occurred. So, it seemed planned to usher him in again.
While the UPC has already been endorsing the son of the late MP. That’s why you know the Okabe might be a force to be reckon with. His just that by association and by the merits of his father. Not because Okabe is unique or special. No, it’s all in the name and in the fact of what his father did.
I personally don’t look forward to the By-Elections. By-Elections under the NRM is a warzone, a battlefield and in the end… NRM get the MP and it’s game-over. Mass-arrests, electoral violence and voter tourism is an occurring theme. Therefore, I don’t expect anything else in 2022. The NRM and the EC has shown this to be the case. Nothing will be different here. While the NRM will come with SACCO’s, empty promises and use massive amount of funds to get Oucur finally elected. Peace.