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I am still in the race! Opposition candidate in Busia election denies quitting for govt job

DP’s Deogratias Njoki was one of the five candidates nominated for the Busia LC V by-election (FILE PHOTO)

BUSIA – The joint opposition candidate in the by-election for the Busia District LC5 seat, Mr Deo Njoki Hasubi, has denied quitting the race after being appointed to the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) as a member.

Mr Njoki, who only last week was endorsed by the Democratic Party(DP) as well as the FDC for the Busia seat, has in a letter dated November 10 to DP, insisted that his nomination to the UHRC position came after the District party nomination and he would take up the job once approved by Parliament.

While his letter has caused anxiety in the opposition, he said on Monday evening that he has not yet given up contesting for the district seat and that he was merely informing his party.

“The letter does not say that I have pulled out the race as many are speculating. I only communicated to the party about the appointment, which came after I had been nominated. We will soon sit as the party and discuss it,” he said by telephone.

Hassan Opio, the district FDC chairperson, also said their candidate has no intentions of pulling out of the race.

“We are going to launch our campaigns on Saturday this week,” he said.

President Norbert Mao welcoming the Busia FDC members & leaders on board to engage in plans & actions intended to accomplish the Busia LCV byelection (DP PHOTO)

The Busia District seat fell vacant in May, 2018 after Court of Appeal in Mbale District threw out Mr Ouma Adea on grounds that had been convicted of corruption in 2013.

Mr Njoki is contesting alongside Mr Paul Boniface Oguttu, the flagbearer for National Resistance Movement party (NRM), Mr Chrispus Bwire, Mr Tony Ojambo and Geoffrey Wandera, all independent candidates,

But Mr Hasubi in his letter dated November 10, 2018 addressed to the secretary general of his party, said if approved by Parliament; he would consider serving the country as a member of UHRC.

“If approved by Parliament, I would, as a citizen, consider serving my country as a member of the Uganda Human Rights Commission,” his letter reads in part.

According to the letter, Mr Njoki, said the initiative to seek to serve as a member of Uganda Human Rights Commission was made way back before the program for the byelection for the office of chairperson, Busia District had been announced.

“On the 9th November 2018, I received a copy of a letter dated 8th November 2018 addressed to the Rt Hon Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, appointing me as a member of the Uganda Human Rights Commision,” he said in his letter.

He added, “The timing for the appointment, after the nominations are closed on the 7th November 2018, did not leave opportunity for the parties that sponsored and supported my candidature to nominate an alternative candidate. It was outside my control,” the letter reads further.

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