Four Western Uganda youth MP aspirants are in the spotlight for reportedly lying about their age to fit in the 18-30 age bracket for the parliamentary youth representatives.
The four, Joshua Akandwanaho, Agnes Tushabe, Patrick Mwesigye and Ronald Tugume, are seeking the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag for the 2021 youth parliamentary election to replace incumbent Mwine Mpaka.
Mwine Mpaka is ineligible to contest because the youth parliamentary term is nonrenewable.
Mpaka won the primary election for the newly created Mbarara City South.
But the four intending Mpaka successors are in trouble with the Dr Tanga Odoi Electoral Commission (EC).
A whistle-blower named Nicholas Habigumira has petitioned Tanga Odoi, demanding that Akandwanaho, Tugume, Tushabe and Mwesigye be thrown out of the race for being over 30.
Habigumira, now aged 33, claims that he went to Nakasongola Army School with Akandwanaho.
He further alleges that Akandwanaho was a year ahead of him.
His argument is that the aspirant can’t be in the 18-30 bracket.
The whistle-blower further tells Tanga Odoi to interest himself in Akandwanaho’s National ID details which indicate his year of birth as 1984.
That would mean that he is age 36.
According to Habigumira, Tushabe was a candidate in the 2015says he cast his ballot for this intending Youth MP in the 2015 NRM Primaries for the 2016-2021 Western Youth MP election.
Then, claims the petitioner, Tushabe said she was aged 26.
He now wants the NRM EC to dig through its archives and fish out the papers Tushabe presented for her 2015 bid, as a way of exposing her lies about her age.
Besides, Habigumira further submits, Tushabe’s ID details indicate 1989 as her year of birth.
For Mwesigye, the whistle-blower notes that he has evidence that he sat his Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exams at Mbarara High School in 2005.
In 2007, continues Habigumira, the aspirant completed his Uganda A-level at Ntare School.
He says it is impossible for someone who did his Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examinations 13 years ago to be 30 or below.
In his attempt to pin Tugume, Habigumira questions how someone who completed his undergraduate degree from Uganda Christian University (UCU) in 2015 can claim to be in the Youth MP age bracket.
Habigumira has warned the NRM could lose out even if any of these four aspirants won in the 2021 parliamentary elections since their election would be challenged in courts of law on grounds on age.
The petitioner says Tanga Odoi should handle this matter expeditiously — in the interest of NRM democracy and justice.
He cautions that if unresolved, the opposition could exploit this illegality to throw out any of these if they go through the primaries and get elected as MP.