Lira – A city-to-be, Lira never runs short of controversial talk and will always experience scandals on an industrial scale especially those associated with politics. And when there was about to be quietness in the FM airwaves in town [sub-region], it comes a political bombshell, dropped and courtesy of the ruling party, NRM.
This contemporary digital newspaper can now authoritatively reveals that bad blood is brewing with carders of the ruling party in Lira just two days after they return from their NRM delegates’ conference. The feud, as per the facts we have is over cash, with some delegates alleging that their facilitations were swindled by Lira district NRM officials.
The accused officials on the spot are; Richard Omara Awio who is the secretary general of the party for Lira, and Geoffrey Etwop, the finance secretary. Those accusing their leaders, pointing fingers at them include Walter Abura, a former youth Councilor in Lira municipal council and Steven Alele who contested and lost to Fred Minyang in Ayago in the last election.
It is claimed by Alele and others that names of some delegates were sent to the NRM secretariat but that the delegates were oblivious about the submission, and did not attend the NRM delegate’s conference and so their money ended up in the pockets of Omara Awio and his colleagues.
According to Alele, this include money for a former female councilor who is now a deceased. He further claimed that her name again appeared on the list and much as her children went to pick the money, they were denied the chance.
“It brings a bad omen for one to swindle money in the names of a deceased person and if they are denying, why did they give money to some people who were not delegates but stranded and again Etwop said they would use some remaining shillings 300,000 to buy yellow chairs for NRM office in Lira, where did they get the money from,” Alele wondered.
The concerned party delegates addressed the press in Lira on Monday.
Accused officials defend themselves
Geoffrey Etwop who is rumored to be salivating for the chair of Lira municipality mayor was the first to deny the allegations brought forth by Alele and his crew, calling it a political witch-hunt. Mr Etwop says he only received accommodation and transport facilitations for the invited delegates and all were cleared.
Richard Omara Awio calls the allegations regrettable and denies wrong doing though he has accepted to take responsibility for any outcry.
According to Omara, there was firstly mixed communications from the secretariat on who would attend the delegate’s conference which saw them updating the secretariat with the right list a number of times.
For instance, Omara says they were not initially told that flag bearers who did not make it in the 2016 elections from the level of LC V and below would not attend and they had to correct the anomaly.
To further substantiate his justification, Omara says even George Mawa, a former aspirant on NRM ticket for mayor of Lira municipality found his name missing even when he is a member of NEC.
Omara says he would later coordinate with Sam Engola, the vice chairperson Northern Uganda who’s also the Lira district NRM chair to plead to delegates like George Mawa who faced similar predicaments.
Each delegate is said to have received shillings 600,000 in allowances.