By Samuel Opio
Joseph Linos Opio, Serere district Member of Parliament hopeful has officially dumped Uganda People’s Congress for People Power Movement, a pressure group spearheaded by the Kyadondo East Legislator, Hon. Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.
Opio has been a member of UPC since 2006 parliamentary elections.
He becomes one of the most Prominent Politicians in Teso to join People Power.
According to political analysts, Opio could ride on the sympathy vote due to the shocking loss of his election petition of 2016, at the Court of Appeal.
It’s important to note that Soroti High Court in 2016, nullified the election of Bishop Patrick Okabe (NRM), blaming the Electoral Commission for organising elections without complying with Uganda’s electoral laws.
Justice Billy Kainamura ruled that the petitioner proved to the satisfaction of the court that though duly nominated, his name, photograph and symbol did not feature on the ballot paper.
Opio had accused Okabe of not having the requisite qualification for an MP, and that his rights and those of his supporters were disenfranchised, through a willful deliberate omission of his identity, symbol, photograph, name and party symbol, by the electoral commission.
However, in a dramatic twist of proceedings, the three justices led by Deputy Chief Justice Kavuma unanimously overturned the decision of the High Court.
The judges found out that the petitioner had no capacity to file an election petition since he was not validly nominated as a candidate to contest in the said election nor did he accompany his petition with 500 signatures from other voters.
After his efforts came out fruitless, he has now turned his guns to 2021.
He has vowed to fight against the death penalty and encouraging reconciliation between death row inmates and their victims.
“I have plans to push Serere to achieve a lot, one of them is in the area of health, I want to encourage the use of alternative medicine. Foreign jobs for our young people is top on my manifesto. Legalizing the growing of hemp for medical and industrial purposes”
“Rejuvenating the Serere research station to its former glory. Fish cage farming, because you can’t separate Serere from fish,”
“I also intend to continue demanding for the compensation of our people working closely with Counsel Richard Anguria Omongole. You know Lango has already been compensated, they got 10billion even Acholi got war reparation of 10billion but Teso has gotten nothing,” he disclosed.
Opio has been in the Serere parliamentary race since 2006.
His exit from one of Uganda’s oldest political parties follows the confusion happening in the party leadership.
On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal halted the party’s delegates conference scheduled for August 1, 2020 pending the disposal of an appeal challenging Jimmy Akena’s leadership as party president.
The three-member panel of Court of Appeal justices issued the orders after lawyers representing the Peter Walubiri UPC led faction led by Julius Galisonga told court that failure to halt the conference would cause them irreparable damage.
They argued that Akena whose leadership is being challenged would preside over the delegate’s conference which is expected to elect the next UPC leader for a five-year term.
The justices also stopped Akena from withdrawing any money from the party’s accounts in Orient and Housing Finance Banks pending the determination of the main appeal.
Trouble for Akena started in 2015 when the late Dr. Joseph Bossa, the then UPC Vice President ran to court to challenge Akena’s leadership on grounds that the UPC party Electoral Commission didn’t have the mandate to declare him UPC president.