By Stephen Candia in Arua
Voters in Vurra County are now crying foul after realising that they voted ‘unwisely’ in the recently concluded parliamentary elections. Vurra’s position in the NRM government fell on a hard rock after the voters decided to choose a Member of Parliament on independent ticket.
Since the coming in to power of the NRM government in 1986, Vurra County has been on a soft platform because of choosing their leaders with the guidance of the elders, who hold the key to political ascendancy from the time of Hon. Dr. Erick Adriko (1996-2001) who served for five years and later left Hon. Andruale Awuzu (2001-2006) who worked for two terms and left the cue to Hon Simon Ejua (2006-2011), all in Ministerial positions.
Voters Hope of keeping the traditional system of electing their leaders hit a storm after competitive politics was ushered in the constituency by a new entrant in the person of Dr. Sam Agatre Okuonzi, who stormed the arena in Vurra on the manifesto of going for a big catch in the 9th cabinet, this set in total confusion among the voters, who without analysis decided to reject their then Minister Hon. Simon Ejua and ended up losing the whole National Cake for Vurra after retaining it for more than two decades.
Dr. Agatre rejected an earlier intervention by the elders in Vurra during the NRM primary elections to keep Mr. Ejua for another term and took him, the NRM district returning officer and the NRM party to court on grounds that they rigged elections. But alas, before the court case could be disposed off, the complainant Dr. Okuonzi rushed to nominate himself on an independent ticket and the then Minister Hon. Ejua equally joined the queue, leaving the voters in total confusion.
Vurra constituency was among two other Counties that did not have NRM flag bearer, though most government officials were leaning towards Mr. Ejua for the seat. But to their surprise, the new entrant erroneously swept the votes and claimed victory.
It was hoped that Mr. Okuonzi would be appointed a minister but when the right time came, Vurra County that has been a cream of Arua district over the years in the NRM government, lost its position of Minister of state for transport to Sebei in the Eastern region.
Some of the voters I spoke to have expressed disappointment over the ‘big loss’ and the mess the people of Vurra got themselves in. Mr. Ernest, one of the voters in Logiri Sub County says he feels Vurra is no longer a place for good politics, “we were confused by Mr. Agatre who told us the president was his friend, we did not know but now we are orphans in this government because of his actions, let us now suffer” meanwhile another voter Cecilia of Ajia Sub County said “We thought we were on the usual track, but now it’s finished, we shall never be known in this government again”
Some of the supporters of the former minister Simon Ejua have vowed to reverse what they call was a mistake by unscrupulous voters, “Many people in Ajia, Arivu and parts of Logiri Sub County were advocating for change and now the change has turned us upside down, we are thinking of another step to correct this mess” a retired civil servant in Vurra Sub County remarked.
Mr. Simon Ejua who lost in the elections however says, the voters in Vurra should accept the out come of their decision in the recent elections. “Let us see what Vurra will be like in the next five years, I initiated several projects including the tarmacking of the Vurra-customs road and I’m waiting to see the implementation of these”.
Hon. Dr. Sam Okuonzi has been struggling to convince the voters on what he can secure for the people of Vurra after failing to appear on the President’s list of Ministers and in any of the committee chairpersons. “I have not given up in my struggle, I’m still expecting something in the next reshuffle, I think I can still get some attention” Hon. Okuonzi spoke on his phone.
Arua district is now in the cold after all the members of parliament failed to secure positions both in the ruling and opposition governments. “We are now Orphans after the so called ‘Big people’ messed-us –up in the elections, especially the Resident District Commissioner Arua and his group, let them tell us what has happened” one of the councillors to the district remarked in anguish.
Among the constituencies that have been rewarded with ministerial appointments in West Nile include: Maracha’s Hon. Alex Onzima (independent) for local government state minister, Koboko, Hon. Jachan Omach (NRM)- minister of finance general duties in Nebbi district, Adjumani’s Gen. Moses Ali (NRM)-3rd deputy prime minister and Ex-officio appointees, Hon James Baba-office of the vice president, Hon. Christine Ondoa-minister for health, Hon. Simon Dujanga-minister of state for energy. Ends
Vurra County voters regret loss of National Cake.
June 30th, 2011 · No Comments
By Stephen Candia in Arua