Charles Okello Engola: Seven show interest in Oyam North MP seat
While the body of the late Col (Rtd) Charles Okello Engola Macodwogo is yet to be laid to rest (this Saturday), seven people have already shown interest in Oyam North parliamentary seat. These include his son, Samuel Junior Engola.
Engola, who was also the Oyam North County MP, was shot dead by his bodyguard, Private Wilson Sabiiti, on Tuesday last week. Sabiiti later killed himself.
The Electoral Commission (EC) is yet to declare the Oyam North County seat vacant. EC acts upon notification from the Clerk to Parliament about the need to fill a vacant position after which it releases a detailed programme for campaigns, to enable interested candidates from the various parties to contest for elections.
However, the Engola’s family has asked the National Resistance Movement (NRM) to consider making Junior Engola the party’s flag-bearer in the by-election.
Mr Jacob Okello, the Otikokin clan chief in charge of Oyam North, confirmed the development.
“We have consulted him (Junior Engola) and he has also agreed to succeed his father,” Mr Okello said.
When contacted on Monday, Junior Engola confirmed that he had accepted to take up the mantle of leadership from his deceased father.
The 11th Parliament’s term ends in 2026, after which Ugandans will again go to the General Election.
The Oyam NRM chairperson, Mr Jasper Onena, said several people had expressed interest in the position.
He added that on May 6, the Oyam NRM executives met some of the aspiring candidates, including former ambassador Julius Peter Moto, Mr Alfred Okello Obaro (Iceme Town Council chairperson), and Mr Augustine Obanga Kenekene (a medical worker).
Others are Mr Willy Omodo Omodo (former NRM youth vice chairperson for northern Uganda) and Queen Dorothy Amolo.
In an interview with Daily Monitor, Mr Omodo said: “In the interest of the local community, I am also contesting. This is because in the last election of 2021, I contested with the late but somehow my votes were grabbed.”
He added: “Politics is governed by the constitution of the party, and it is not a monarchy where the child takes over from the parent when he/she passes on.”
Ambassador Moto, who served as Uganda’s high commissioner in two countries for 10 years, said: “I am going to propose to take that mantle from [Engola]. I want to stand as a Member of Parliament of Oyam North under the NRM party. I think I am mature enough and a strong supporter of the party.”
He added: “I am politically sensitive and politically mature because I offered myself to stand as Member of Parliament in 2006 and also in 2011.”
Mr Obaro, who previously served as the Oyam District speaker, said: “It is unfortunate he passed on, which has affected the people of Oyam so much and the community of the district loved him so much. However, the law says the position has to be filled for the continuity of work, and I am here to fill that vacant position.”
Ms Amolo is an investor based in the US. She is the brain behind various community groups promoting wealth creation initiatives in Aber, Minakulu, Myene, Loro, Acaba, and Iceme Sub-counties, in Oyam District.
Mr Tonny Ongar, the personal assistant to Ms Amolo, said due to public demand, his boss would continue from where the deceased minister stopped “because she has the capacity to develop Oyam North”.
Credit: Daily Monitor