Lira City East: Onyango, Akena’s biggest rival nominated, talks investments

Mr Onyango Apollo addressing media after his nomination. Inset is Mr James M. Akena.

“The truth is that Lira municipality has never been represented in Parliament because the MP we sent was silent and has never pushed for any agenda for you, the voters,” Onyango told a media briefing.

Lira—16 October 2020: The political barometer is rising each hour in Lira City East Division, and if the words of some political pundits are anything to go by, then the 2021 general elections will be a serious test on the candidature of the beleaguered and de facto UPC party president, Jimmy James Michael Akena.

“Akena has never been contested at all, forget about candidates that were presented by the NRM party in the 2011 and 2016 elections, this time you have a serious and shrewd politician in the candidature of Apollo Onyango and I can tell you that this, time round Akena will have a serious run for his money,” David Okello, a political science scholar and analyst, told this digital newspaper on Thursday.

On Thursday and Friday, October 16, 2020, various candidates presented their credentials before the electoral commission for nominations.

So far, five candidates have come up to challenge Jimmy James Akena for Lira City East Division MP seat. They are: NRM’s Apollo Onyango, Moses Etyang (Independent), James Ocen (Gift Life) (Independent), Patrick Rolex Akena Ogwal (Independent) and Patrick Aroma (Independent).

Most of them have since been duly nominated Thursday and on Friday. But according to Mr Okello, a political scientist, it will be a rough political terrain for Jimmy Akena given the paradigm shift in the geographical trajectory of the new constituency, the pedigree and the stature of the candidates involved.

“Look here, Akena had massive support in Adyel and Ojwina, but those divisions are now in Lira City West and he finds himself in an awkward situation where he has to face new voters in Adekokwok, Ngetta and Iwal, but is he going to address them in English?,” Okello pondered as he talked to TND News’ senior political correspondent, Frank Oyugi.

 Riding on his slogan “Agenda Olil pi Lira City” and loosely translated as “A clear agenda for Lira City”, Apollo Onyango was on Thursday nominated at Lira City Council hall on NRM ticket.

He’s seen as a serious contender and a favorite to challenge Jimmy Akena in the race for 2021 polls.

“To put records straight, Lira was a municipality before it became a city, but truth is that Lira municipality has never been represented in Parliament because the MP we sent was silent and has never pushed for any agenda for you the voters,” Onyango told a media briefing shortly after his nomination.

Mr Onynago is the Chief Executive Officer of Radio FM 94.3 Lira, a leading media brand in Lira City. He’s as an accomplished business administrator who attained a master’s degree from Uganda Management Institute (UMI). He has spoken about serious issues of industrialization and investments for Lira City.

According to Onyango, the next MP for Lira City East Division should be serious on the commercial and investments prospects of Lira City, and he asserted that he is that candidate.

It should be noted that Railways Division which is now in Lira City East Division is the industrial hub of Lira City.

“As you might be aware, Lira was inaugurated as a commercial and an industrial City, we have here over 40 oil seed factories and we ought to ride on that factor to ensure Lira prospers to benefit all the locals,” Onyango told journalists.

Once elected MP Lira City East Division, Onynago says he will exploit his connections both within and abroad coupled with his business acumen to lobby and attract investors to the commercial and industrial City of Lira.

Onyango says an MP has got avenues to lobby for development for his people because of their exposure to the international community, but said it was so absurd that that the people of Lira Municipality now a City got a raw deal from the leadership of Jimmy Akena.

He also did say that Lira being a new City, has new sub-counties like Ngetta and Adekowkok which was not yet planned and are bound to encounter new challenges but said “as development and planning takes place, the leadership that will be ushered in, in the 2021 elections should be humane”.

“I would ensure that the people of Lira City East Division are treated with dignity and their rights to own property is respected,” he added.

Mr Onyango is not also leaving the youth behind and besides several incomes generating projects which he envisages, he is also very enthusiastic about sports.

“I see no reason why we should not have Lira City Council Football Club (LCFC). In fact, it has been long overdue,” Onynago says, adding that this would help to nurture and promote young talents. “Sports and education are at the center of my agenda for Lira City East.”

To show his seriousness, Onyango with other NRM candidates like Heath Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero (an aspirant for Lira City Woman MP) are in the process of organizing “Onyango Apollo Xmass Cup” which will see young people compete in football for exorbitant prices. Publication’s WhatsApp No. +256 752 169 448.

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