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Gulu City FDC Mayoral Candidate Petitions EC Over Voter Bribery

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According to Acire, Okwonga collected T-shirts with his portrait from his supporters after bribing them and asked each of them to recruit five members from his camp; something he said is against the laws governing elections in the country.
The petition letter written to the EC by Christopher Acire -Photo by Jesse Johnson James
The Forum for Democratic Change Party–FDC Gulu City Mayoral candidate, Christopher Acire has petitioned the Electoral Commission over alleged voter bribery by his opponent.

Acire accuses his National Resistance Movement-NRM party rival, Alfred Okwonga of bribing 10 of his supporters with white T-shirts and Shillings 10,000 each on November 29th, 2020.

According to Acire, Okwonga collected T-shirts with his portrait from his supporters after bribing them and asked each of them to recruit five members from his camp; something he said is against the laws governing elections in the country.

  He has asked the Electoral Commission through the Gulu District Returning Officer, Benson Obete to intervene in the matter, since police declined to register a case of voter bribery when he went to report on Monday afternoon.  He also says Okwonga is still continuing with voter bribery.

Charles Okech Oceng, a Boda-boda Cyclist in Gulu City is among the 10 people who received T-shirts and money from Alfred Okwonga. He told URN that he was approached by one of Okwonga's campaign agents when he saw him wearing a blue T-shirt with Acire's portrait.

According to Oceng, the agent led them to Okwonga where they were told to hand over the blue T-shirts as a sign of defection before being given the white T-shirts and money. Oceng says that after receiving the handouts, he was conflicted and decided to return the handouts only to be denounced by Okwonga.

 

Okwonga has denied the bribery allegations, saying it is propaganda aimed at tainting his reputation. He also counter accuses Acire of bribing his supporters. Benson Obete, the Gulu District Returning Officer told URN that he is yet to receive the said petition in person because he has been in the field. He promised to establish whether it was delivered to his office.

Voter bribery is contrary to section 68(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act of 2005. Anybody who commits the offence is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Shillings 1.4M or imprisonment not exceeding more than three years or both.