By Our Reporter
The Electoral Commission (EC) has disqualified Bernard Onen Odoi, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag bearer for Youth Member of Parliament for Eastern Uganda from the race for being too old.
The decision was reached by the EC Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama who discovered that Odoi lied about his age.
In a letter dated December 31, 2020, Byabakama communicated that Odoi was ineligible to stand in the youth elections.
“Whereas the said candidate stated in his nomination paper that he is 29 years old, according to his voter registration details, his date of birth is 27th August ,1990 and this makes him 30 years by the time he was nominated. The same date of birth is captured as such in the village youth council nomination register for the period July/August 2020,” Byabakama said in the letter.
The Electoral Commission chairperson added that upon further scrutiny of the documents submitted by Odoi, both the enrolment forms filled on June 3, 2014 and an application for replacement of lost, defaced or damaged national ID submitted to the National Identification and Registration Authority indicate that he was born in 1986.
Odoi’s details at NIRA tendered as evidence to the Electoral Commission by the petitioner indicate that the candidate was born in 1991 and this means that he should be 29 years.
According to EC, Odoi’s birth certificate indicates that he was born on August, 28, 1982 whereas he corrected particulars of his date of birth to August, 1991 and that this correction was effected in October 2019 to enable him to participate in the National Youth Council and Committee elections.
More interesting details in his academic documents indicate that Odoi sat for his Ordinary level certificate at Tororo Progressive in 1999, which means he was in Senor four at the age of eight. The documents also state that Odoi enrolled in Lugazi Homeland College in 2009 for Advanced Level Certificate and completed the same year.
“Further given that the said candidate admitted that he completed the Uganda Certificate of Education in 1999, this makes the date of birth of 28th August, 1991 improbable, given the mandatory years required for one to attain both primary and secondary education in Uganda. He definitely could not have completed O level education at eight years of age,” Byabakama said in a letter.
It should be recalled that Blaise Kamugisha, the National Coordinator for Crime Preventers was also last year thrown out of the National Youth Council (NYC) race for being too old as well.