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Former minister destroys boreholes he’d built for community after losing MP seat

A former Ugandan minister, who lost in a recent Parliamentary election, has dismantled all the boreholes he had sunk that have been supplying water to Nebbi Municipality residents for the past two decades, New Vision reports.

Patrick Okumu-Ringa, who is said to own huge chunks of land in the municipality, had about 10 boreholes drilled in different wards, the news outlet says.

The former minister accused Nebbi Municipality constituents of abusing his generosity by not supporting his bid for MP.

The process of dismantling the boreholes started on Monday and was concluded on Wednesday, three days after the election results were announced, New Vision says.

For close to ten years, Okumu-Ringa was Padyere County MP, but lost the seat to UPC’s late David Ringecan in 2006.

Since then, his attempts to win different elective seats have been unsuccessful.

During the NRM primaries, Okumu-Ringa lost to the new entrant, Suleiman Hashim. He, however, chose to run as independent, claiming his defeat during the primaries was as result of rigging.

In the recent election, Okumu-Ringa came third after securing 1,270 votes out of the 9,940 total votes cast.

He lost to Hashim, who scored 4,283 votes, with FDC’s Robert Onega coming second with 4,159 votes in the highly-billed election.

After the election loss, Okumu-Ringa said he would reconcile with residents and assemble the boreholes during an “appropriate” time.

“I am hurt, but I will reconcile with them. However, for now, let them look for water elsewhere,” he said, as quoted by the New Vision.

“Our people are not appreciative. All I wanted from them was votes. I have educated so many children, but all they tell me is I have done nothing,” he added.

Asked whether he was hurting the Government he once served, Okumu-Ringa said the Government should instead pay him for supplying free water to citizens.

“I don’t think the Government should be offended. I used my money to sink the boreholes, and in any case, even National Water and Sewerage Corporation doesn’t supply free water,” he said.

Okumu-Ringa’s action has, however, drawn mixed reactions among residents and leaders in the municipality, with some supporting him and others saying he had overreacted.

 

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