Busia gubernatorial aspirants Dr Paul Otuoma and Sospeter Ojaamong were on Monday night engaged in a verbal exchange live on NTV ahead of the scheduled repeat of nominations in two constituencies.
Mr Ojaamong is the sitting governor while Dr Otuoma the man who is currently Funyula MP but wants to unseat him.
There were exchanges on allegations of defection, financing by Jubilee and each other’s personal finances as well as differences between them on the number of voters in Teso South and Teso North constituencies.
Results from the two constituencies were delayed in the nomination results announced last week. They were considered the strongholds of Mr Ojaamong, who was trailing Dr Otuoma with 90 per cent of the votes in before the results from the two zones were announced.
The results were later nullified, with ODM’s National Elections Board saying the nominations would be repeated only in the two constituencies.
Yesterday, Mr Ojaamong said there are 67,000 voters in Teso South and around 56,000 in Teso North. In the official results of the 2013 General Election published by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries, Teso South had 41,874 voters while Teso North had 37,214 voters.
This would mean that the number of voters in Teso South has increased by 25,126 voters and that in Teso North by 18,786.
Mr Ojaamong said the high voter turnout in the Teso constituencies should not be considered unusual as there was 77 per cent turnout in Dr Otuoma’s Funyula constituency.
The governor said the fact that the two constituencies’ MPs are from Jubilee is immaterial as they were formerly in ODM.
“I still believe I won and even if there is a repeat tomorrow, we shall go. Let’s go back to the people again and we’ll see. We have told the Elections Board we are ready,” said Mr Ojaamong.
He said he would still win even if only the votes from one of ‘his’ constituencies are counted.
“From today, let him expect a real battle. What happened were skirmishes. The real battle is coming now. When you go to a game it’s a win or lose. As I have always told my supporters, I have seven ways of winning an election in Busia County. This one I just applied one of it,” he said.
Mr Ojaamong repeated the assertion that Dr Otuoma is pro-Jubilee and has received funds from the ruling coalition.
He said the Funyula MP created the fake copies of the Daily Nation that were distributed there on the morning of the nominations.
Dr Otuoma in turn accused the governor of stealing public funds and being under the illusion that anybody who has money gets it from stolen public funds.
Dr Otuoma said that from the results declared in the Teso constituencies, “there are 44,000 people who did not vote for the MCAs and the MP.” “It doesn’t make any sense. Like the MP in Teso North, all the people who participated are 17,000 votes. How did he end up with 33,000. Even if you want to do some rigging, as I said earlier, you need to employ a little bit of intelligence in it,” said Dr Otuoma.
Mr Ojaamong said basing calculations on the number of sub-counties is wrong as it is the population that matters.
Dr Otuoma in turn accused the governor of fudging with the statistics of his county. He said that the IEBC statistics show that the registered voters on Teso South are around 60,000. There are 41,000 in Budalang’i, he added and that Teso South is a cosmopolitan constituency.
“I don’t want Governor Ojaamong to start imputing wrong motive on the Teso community, which he does not even represent. They did not even vote for him. Let him go back and look at 2013. Even today, I defeated him in Teso South,” said Dr Otuoma. “When I used to help him with money, was I getting it from Jubilee?” he asked at one point.
Mr Ojaamong in turn said he has managed to get MCAs even in Dr Otuoma’s constituency. “These figures talk for themselves. Of all the MPs that were elected in this ODM, all are mine. 90 per cent of the MCAs are mine,” said Mr Ojaamong.