Former State minister for Tourism Jovino Akaki Ayumu is among seven candidates who have been nominated to contest for newly created Apac Municipality MP seat.
Nominations took place on June 4 and June 5. Mr Akaki, who is the NRM party flag-bearer, will face off with FDC’s George Okello Ekwaro, UPC’s Patrick Ochan and three other Independents. They are Rev John Robert Atim Etime, Mr Bonny Odongo, Bishop Stanley Engena-Maitum and former Apac District Woman MP Lucy Ajok.
Mr Akaki, a teacher by profession, was elected Maruzi County MP in Apac District in 1996 on the NRM ticket. He lost his seat to Mr David Ebong Abongo in 2006.
“I have made a comeback to ensure I complete the work I left when I was thrown out of Parliament in 2006,” he says.
Mr Akaki says his unfinished business includes, among others, tarmacking of Apac road.
The FDC candidate, Dr Ekwaro, is a medical doctor by profession who taught at Gulu University and worked with the National Medical Stores.
He says he is the right candidate for the seat.
“We shall not allow government to grab our land. We are going to agitate for the restoration of presidential age limits in the Constitution. We shall agitate for fair and equitable distribution of natural resources in the country in terms of access to employment, fair taxation and improvement in the prices of agricultural produce. We shall push for tarmacking of Apac road from Rwekunye to Lira via Masindi,” Dr Ekwaro says.
Bishop Engena-Maitum, who is the eldest son of former president Apollo Milton Obote, also says he is ready to transform the area.
However, before his nomination, many people did not take him seriously because in 2016, he declared interest to contest as president but did not show up for nomination.
“My vision is to restore the dignity and integrity of an African and raise a new generation to continue the footsteps of the Father of beloved Uganda and Africa at large,” Bishop Engena-Maitum says.
Ms Ajok, who once worked with Move On Referral, an NGO, has also held various prestigious positions in the housing sector.
She was elected as Apac District Woman MP in 2011 on the UPC ticket but lost the seat to NRM’s Betty Engola in 2016.
“I did a lot of things for the people of Apac before I was interrupted. In fact, this time round, I have a lot of projects that I want to do for the people of Apac,” Ms Ajok says.
Rev Etime, who served as the Apac Town Council chairman from 2011 to 2016, says he is better placed to represent the people of Apac Municipality in Parliament.
“I am a better candidate for Apac because when I came as the LC3 chairman, the place had dilapidated structures but the place is now developed,” he says.
Rev Etime, who holds Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Social Administration, says he will address the current leadership question in the area.
“We have leaders who only mind about their stomachs, who only want to build good houses and buy beautiful vehicles at the expense of the electorate. If given the mandate, I will make sure all health centres are equipped with essential drugs,” he says.
He also claims he was the brain behind the creation of Apac Municipality.
“I worked tirelessly with NRM to have Apac elevated to municipal status. In 2011, I told my voters that I would only serve for one term as the LC3 chairman and go to Parliament, and some people thought I was joking,” he adds.
Rev Etime served as a warder at Masindi government prison before being ordained as a reverend.
The UPC flag bearer, Mr Ocan, owns a radio station in Apac Town. If elected, he says he will establish a television station to create jobs for unemployed youth.
The election is scheduled for July 19 and candidates are combing all corners of the constituency for votes.
Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson, explains that the campaign meetings or public rallies shall be conducted only within the stipulated time, that is, from 7am until 6pm on each of the 40 campaign days.
“During this period, candidates shall not use or publish any language or defamatory words, which incite public disorder, hatred, violence or which threatens war,” Justice Byabakama added.