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Unopposed: Minister Onek sails through to 11th Parliament after EC kicked ‘bankrupt’ opponent from race

Minister Hilary Onek. Courtesy Photo

Eng Hilary Onek, the Minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, has joined fellow cabinet ministers like Frank Tumwebaze of gender, labour and social development, and Matia Kasaija of finance, planning and economic development, after Walter David Ocira, his opponent  in Lamwo District’s Palabek County was disqualified over bankruptcy.

“Having been adjudged by an order of Court vide HCT-Bankruptcy Petition 10 of 2020 and subject to Article 80 (2) (d) of the constitution and section 4 (2) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, you are therefore not qualified for elections as a member of parliament,” the EC ruled on Ocira’s fate.

With Ocira declared bankrupt and disqualified from parliamentary politics, Onek is now unopposed after his other opponent  Patrick Lakidi Laport of main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

The Genesis

Available court documents indicate that Ocira and his cargo and buses transportation business under KOMATSE Transporters Limited failed to pay Janani Onyaya and Jodis Konyelenge.

Onyaya and Konyelenge had promised to sell a petrol station in Gulu in 2012, telling them he wanted to shift to Kampala and would want to sell the business.

But after the duo gave him Shs300m, they were shocked to learn that he had sold the same business to someone else.

Unable to offer them the petrol station, Ocira then promised to help Konyelenge and Onyaya acquire two new buses, for which he would pay Shs300m.

Skenya Motors Uganda supplied the two buses registration numbers UAU 019F and UAU 421M to the duo.

But in September 2015, bailiffs working for Stanbic Bank confiscated bus registration number UAU 019F because it was security for a loan.

Later, Skenya Motors Uganda also impounded bus registration number UAU 421M.

Fast forward to May 28, 2018, Justice Lydia Mugambe ordered Ocira to pay Onyaya and Konyelenge their money and court costs with interest.

Ocira was yet to pay the duo their money, now about Shs1bn.

Two years later, on December 3, 2020, Justice Michael Elubu of the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala, declared Ocira bankrupt under the Insolvency Act 2011 and the Insolvency Regulation 2013. Ocira had asked his lawyers of Munanura Mugabi Advocates to request court to declare him bankrupt; he had even taken an oath before the Commissioner of Oaths Gloria Najjuma at the Civil Division of the High Court to this effect.

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