Tuesday, December 11, 2018
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DP’s Njoki Refuses Museveni Job Offer; Remains in Busia LC V Chairperson Race

Hasibu Deo Njoki (2nd left) alongside Norbert Mao and MP Florence Namayanja

Deogratias Njoki Hasubi has made a dramatic u-turn on his choice of President Yoweri Museveni’s job offer and running as a candidate in the Busia district LC5 chairperson race.

There has been pressure from opposition activists after a letter Njoki wrote to his Democratic Party (DP) on the decision to take up a job at the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) went public.

The joint opposition candidate for the Busia election had written to DP informing the party that “if approved by parliament, I would as a citizen consider serving my country as a member of the Uganda Human Rights Commission”.

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Njoki’s announcement was greeted with frustration from members of the opposition.

On Monday, DP President General Norbert Mao said Njoki’s appointment was a bait. He had advised Njoki to reject Museveni’s job offer.

“High intrigue! I confirm that our candidate for Busia LCV Chairperson Mr. Deo Njoki has been nominated to the Uganda Human Rights Commission. I have strongly urged him to say NO!!! Biting the bait would be extreme treachery. He will be denounced as a deserter and treated as such,” wrote Mao in reaction to the news of Njoki’s appointment.

“The nomination of Deo Njoki to the Uganda Human Rights Commission is in bad faith – a dagger aimed at the heart of opposition unity. DP top leaders met the candidate. Democracy seeking forces should resist crumbs and fight for the full loaf of emancipation.”

And hours after Njoki confirmed he would take up Museveni’s job, he appeared alongside his campaign manager Florence Namayanja (Bukoto East MP), Mao and other party officials at a press conference in Kampala to announce his u-turn.

“I have not abandoned the race and I am not abandoning it at any time,” declared Njoki, to the relief of opposition forces.

“I am not taking up the offer.”

In his change of mind, Njoki questioned the timing of the appointment, only coming shortly after his nomination.

“Whereas the offer has a lot of benefits at personal level and I could do something to promote and fight for human rights while on the commission, the timing of the appointment was unfortunate,” he said.

What Njoki’s u-turn means is that the race to replace Stephen Wanyama Ouma Adeya is on.

The Court of Appeal threw Adeya out of office over his 2013 conviction over corruption.

In the 2016 election, Njoki had polled 21,844 to lose to Adeya who got 31,443 votes.

The race is expected to be stiff between Njoki and Paul Boniface Oguttu of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Namayanja told reporters that Njoki’s campaign rallies would resume today.

On whether the opposition forces would still back Njoki, Mao said he was “in close contact with Hon Patrick Amuriat [FDC president], Dr Col Kizza Besigye [opposition leader], Gen Mugisha Muntu [New Formation leader], Asuman Basalirwa [Jeema leader], Bobi Wine and all democratic seeking forces who have pledged support to Deo Njoki in this campaign”.

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