The joint opposition candidate for Busia District LC 5 Chairperson, Deogratious Njoki Hasubi has pulled out of the race, a move that could see NRM take the seat with minimal resistance.
The elections are slated for November 28.
Njoki said he received a letter on November 9, 2018 addressed to the Speaker of Parliament “appointing me as a member of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).”
“The initiative to seek to serve as a member of the UHRC was mine and was made way back before the program for the by-election for the office Chairperson Busia District had been announced,” Njoki wrote to the Democratic Party Secretary General on November 10.
Njoki’s surprise decision leaves NRM’s Paul Boniface Oguttu as the leading candidate in the heated race.
Other candidates are Chrispus Bwire, Tony Ojambo and Geoffrey Wandera, all independent candidates.
Njoki’s choice will undermine future collaboration of opposition parties especially in fielding joint candidates to challenge NRM for elective positions.
Many will look at this as betrayal by a DP candidate since other parties especially FDC ditched their own members to rally behind Njoki.
However, it also is possible that Njoki doubted his ability to clinch the seat which NRM is so desperate to win.
President Museveni recently visited Busia where he reaffirmed NRM’s commitment to support Oguttu in the race.
Nevertheless, Njoki explained that “the timing of the appointment (UHRC), after the nomination closed on November 7, 2018 did not leave opportunity for the parties that sponsored and supported my candidate to nominate an alternative candidate. It was outside my control.”
He left no shed of doubt about his intentions to take the job.
“If approved by parliament, I would, as a citizen, consider serving my country as a member of the UHRC. I request for your cooperation and support,” Njoki concluded his letter.
The LC 5 seat fell vacant in May after Court of Appeal in Mbale District threw out Mr Ouma Adea on grounds that he had been convicted of corruption in 2013.