TESO POLITICS

MP seat too small for you, Emase teases Governor Ojaamong

Former legislator says Busia boss should either vie for President or try his luck at the Senate.

In Summary
  • Ojaamong and Emase met at a burial on Saturday as they continue to popularise their candidatures for the seat currently held by ODM’s Geoffrey Omuse.
  • Emase has consistently told Ojaamong to vie for any other political post but not MP or MCA.
Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and former MP Mary Emase attending the burial of businessman Francis Owino, 65, at Kaliwa village in Amukura Central Ward on January 15, 2022.
RIVALS: Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and former MP Mary Emase attending the burial of businessman Francis Owino, 65, at Kaliwa village in Amukura Central Ward on January 15, 2022.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

The political rivalry between Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and former Teso South MP Mary Emase over the parliamentary seat has intensified.

The two on Saturday met at a burial in the constituency as they continued to popularise their candidature for the seat currently held by ODM’s Geoffrey Omuse.

Ojaamong, who is serving his second and final term as governor, and Emase are keen on ousting Omuse from the seat during the August 9 polls.

On Saturday, Emase reignited her rivalry with the former Amagoro MP telling him the MP seat is “too small” for him.

Emase has consistently told Ojaamong to vie for any other political post but not MP or MCA.

The two seats, the former lawmaker says, are “too small” for Ojaamong who served as Amagoro MP for two terms before ascending to the governorship.

The leaders were attending the burial of businessman Francis Owino, 65, at Kaliwa village in Amukura Central ward in Teso South subcounty.

“Governor Ojaamong, I have a lot of respect for you. Leave this business of vying for small seats. Focus far,” Emase said amid applause.

“Ordinarily, all of us want to move up the ladder; for example moving from a semi-permanent house to a permanent house, or getting promoted from a senior teacher to a head teacher.”

“Focus higher, my brother Ojaamong, because going by your plans you may return here tomorrow telling us you want to become an MCA. You may return here tomorrow telling us that you want to become a village administrator. That is a shame.”

Ojaamong has expressed interest in the Teso South MP seat.

His interest in the seat has, however, elicited mixed reactions across the constituency as voters remain divided over whether the governor should return to the constituency to serve as MP after leading the county with a population of close to one million residents.

The Constitution does not bar people who have served as governor from contesting for positions of president, senator, woman representative, MP or MCA.

The governor is campaigning on claims that he helped build schools, hospitals and other social infrastructure in Teso South when he served as MP, to try convince residents of the border constituency to back his MP bid.

He also argues that a lot of development was initiated in Teso South during his tenure as governor.

He has consistently claimed Emase’s development record does not match his when he served as MP.

He said in May that Emase failed in her mandate as Teso South MP since she did not help in the development of schools, hospitals and roads.

On Saturday, however, Ojaamong did not respond to Emase’s push that he shelves his plans to vie for the Teso South MP seat.

The governor instead drummed up support for ODM leader Raila Odinga’s presidential bid.

He said with Raila’s presidency, more development projects will be initiated in Busia, more so if he is elected MP.

He argues that his close association with Raila will immensely benefit Teso South residents.

Emase has declared she will be in the race to recapture the seat she lost in 2017 on Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA party.

She says she will not campaign for ODM Raila Odinga unless he declares the development projects he has helped initiate in the county.

“Politics is about interest. I want us the people of Teso South to refuse to cast votes that go to waste,” she said.

“When we vote for leaders, we do so because we want our roads to be good, because we want our hospitals to function well and because we want our children to get decent education.”

The MP has hosted Ruto in Busia three times in less than three months between October last year and January.

Edited by Henry Makori