Ojaamong, Otuoma ratchet up war of words - Daily Nation

Ojaamong, Otuoma ratchet up war of words

Tuesday April 18 2017

Funyula MP Paul Otuoma addresses his supporters

Funyula MP Paul Otuoma addresses his supporters in Busia town during a rally to mobilise residents to register as voters on January 18, 2017. FILE PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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Busia gubernatorial aspirants Paul Otuoma and Sospeter Ojaamong were on Monday night engaged in a verbal exchange live on NTV ahead of the scheduled repeat of nominations in two constituencies.

Mr Ojaamong is the sitting governor while Dr Otuoma, the Funyula MP, wants to unseat him.

There were exchanges on allegations of defection, financing by Jubilee and each other’s personal finances, as well as differences between them on the number of voters in Teso South and Teso North constituencies.

Results from the two constituencies were delayed in the nomination results announced last week. They were considered the strongholds of Mr Ojaamong, who was trailing Dr Otuoma with 90 per cent of the votes in before the results from the two zones were announced.

RERUN

The results were later nullified, with ODM’s National Elections Board saying the nominations would be repeated only in the two constituencies.

Yesterday, Mr Ojaamong said there are 67,000 voters in Teso South and around 56,000 in Teso North. In the official results of the 2013 General Election published by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Teso South had 41,874 voters while Teso North had 37,214 voters.

This would mean that the number of voters in Teso South has increased by 25,126 and that in Teso North by 18,786.

Mr Ojaamong said the high voter turnout in the Teso constituencies should not be considered unusual as there was 77 per cent turnout in Dr Otuoma’s Funyula constituency.

The governor said the fact that the two constituencies’ MPs are affiliated to Jubilee is immaterial as they were formerly in ODM.

'REAL BATTLE'

“I still believe I won and even if there is a repeat tomorrow, we shall go. Let’s go back to the people again and we’ll see. We have told the Elections Board we are ready,” said Mr Ojaamong.

He said he would still win even if only the votes from one of "his" constituencies are counted.

“From today, let him expect a real battle. What happened were skirmishes. The real battle is coming now. When you go to a game it’s a win or lose. As I have always told my supporters, I have seven ways of winning an election in Busia County. This one I just applied one of it,” he said.

Mr Ojaamong repeated the assertion that Dr Otuoma is pro-Jubilee and has received money from the ruling coalition.

He said the Funyula MP created the fake copies of the Daily Nation that were distributed there on the morning of the nominations.

PUBLIC FUNDS

Dr Otuoma in turn accused the governor of stealing public funds and being under the illusion that anybody who has money gets it from stolen public funds.

Dr Otuoma said that from the results declared in the Teso constituencies, “there are 44,000 people who did not vote for the MCAs and the MP.”

“It doesn’t make any sense. Like the MP in Teso North, all the people who participated are 17,000 votes. How did he end up with 33,000. Even if you want to do some rigging, as I said earlier, you need to employ a little bit of intelligence in it,” said Dr Otuoma.

Mr Ojaamong said basing calculations on the number of sub-counties is wrong as it is the population that matters.

Dr Otuoma in turn accused the governor of fudging the statistics of his county. He said IEBC statistics show that there are around 60,000 registered voters in Teso South. He added that there are 41,000 in Budalang’i, and that Teso South is a cosmopolitan constituency.

“I don’t want Governor Ojaamong to start imputing the wrong motive on the Teso community, which he does not even represent. They did not even vote for him. Let him go back and look at 2013," said Dr Otuoma.

"Even today, I defeated him in Teso South. When I used to help him with money, was I getting it from Jubilee?” he asked at one point.

Mr Ojaamong in turn said he has managed to get MCAs even in Dr Otuoma’s constituency. “These figures talk for themselves. Of all the MPs that were elected in this ODM, all are mine. Ninety per cent of the MCAs are mine,” said Mr Ojaamong.

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