We Can't Work With Machinjach - Kween By-Election Losers

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In short
The losers in the just concluded Kween district by-election have conceded defeat but say they cannot work with the winner, Paul Machinjach Kapchemeiko.

The losers in the just concluded Kween district by-election have conceded defeat but say they cannot work with the winner, Paul Machinjach Kapchemeiko.

Nelson Chelimo Kaprokuto, an Independent candidate who trailed Machinjach by 3,323 votes, conceded defeat just hours after Machinjach was declared winner in the by election. Machinjach garnered 11, 575 votes, against Kaprokuto’s 8, 252. Machinjach’s son Tom Chemusto of the Forum for Democratic Change party, who made history by contesting against his father, came third with 974 votes. The other candidates in the race were Alex Labu of Uganda People’s Congress Party who got 303 votes while Jackson Mwanga, another Independent came last with only 58 votes.

In an interview with Uganda Radio Network on Friday, from his home in Kapchorwa, Kaprokuto stressed that he accepts the defeat but cannot work with Machinjach saying his integrity is questionable. He claims that Machinjach forged several academic papers to enable him be nominated for the elections.

Kaprokuto argued that Machinjach’s victory was associated with several electoral malpractices including vote buying, harassment and intimidation among others. He claims that the NRM party and its chairperson, President Yoweri Museveni were involved in the rigging.

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Kaprokuto could neither commit himself when pressed to state whether he is going to challenge Machinjach’s election in court on grounds of lack of requisite academic qualifications and failure to comply with the electoral laws.

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Kaprokuto however explained that he can only work with Machinjach on issues of public development but also on a limited scale.

Machinjach’s son, Tom Chemusto has also conceded defeat to his father. But he has also distanced himself from the new chairperson’s administration which he describes it as old-fashioned.

Chemusto also accused his father and the campaign team of voter bribery. He said as a democracy-loving individual, he accepts the defeat. But he challenges his father and his administration to forge a good way of not only uniting those who contested against him but also the entire population who have contested his maladministration.

He noted that he can only assist his father occasionally if consulted on issues of development.


Machinjach has not made any comment since he was declared winner but was on Friday celebrating his victory with his supporters at his home village in Chemi at the border of Kween and Bukwo districts.

Kween district LC V seat fell vacant in August 2011, after the High Court in Kampala nullified the election of Lawrence Mangusho Cherop on grounds of lack of requisite academic qualifications and failure to comply with the electoral laws. He was dragged to court by Nelson Chelimo Kaprokuto, the loser in the 2011 polls.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.