ZOMBO. The nomination of candidates for various elective positions in Zombo district was unusual as contenders turned up for the exercise with only two supporters contrary to the cheerful crowd that used to accompany candidates in the previous nomination exercises.

This is because of the COVID-19 preventive measures placed by the government to minimize large gatherings in order to break the chain of transmission of the pandemic.

All the candidates who turned up at the Zombo district electoral commission offices in Paidha town for nomination on Thursday and Friday implored their supporters to abide by the various measures put in place by the ministry of health to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mr Lawrence Biyika Songa, the Member of Parliament Ora County who was nominated at 10:05am on Thursday urged his supporters not to congregate as he plans to make visits to all the sub counties in the constituency to popularize his manifesto.

Speaking to West Nile Web in an exclusive interview after his nomination, Songa who doubles as the NRM flag bearer said he intends to consolidate efforts to the existing struggle for the socio-economic empowerment of the people.

“We want to see and ensure our people have access to better health care, infrastructural development and improved performance in the education sector among other efforts to improve the livelihood of the people,” he said.

Songa is being challenged by two other contenders; Mr. Sumba Ronnie Rupiny and Felix Ochakowun who are both contesting as independent candidates.

For Okoro County Member of Parliament seat, Mr. Gabriel Okumu, the NRM flag bearer was nominated at 9:45am on the same day alongside Mr. Nickolas Angala Kumira, an independent candidate.

Okumu who defeated the incumbent MP, Mr. Simon D’Ujanga, the State minister for energy in the NRM primaries said the touching issues that need to be addressed to fuel rapid economic empowerment of the people of Okoro County include; the ailing health and education sectors, poor road network and unrewarding agricultural production among others.

“I want to go to represent the issues affecting our people so that we reduce the poverty level here because we have what it takes to grow rich but we have been lacking a deliberate effort to rid ourselves of poverty,” he said.

He also appealed to his supporters to abide by the COVID-19 preventive measures in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Kumira said most leaders have been representing their party interest and not the interest of the people which should have taken precedence over their own.

Meanwhile, the Zombo district woman Member of Parliament seat attracted at least three contenders with only two duly nominated on Thursday.

Ms. Sarah Adong, the Democratic Party candidate got nominated at 9:45am while her rival Esther Afoyocan, the NRM flag bearer was nominated in the afternoon.

However, one of the contenders Ms. Jackeline Jenifer Alanyo failed to get nominated as an independent candidate after the Zombo district returning officer Mr. Emanuel Ogwang noticed inconsistency in her names.

According to Ogwang, the names recorded on her academic documents identify her as Alanyo Jackeline while that on her other documents identifies her as Jackeline Alanyo Jenifer which is inconsistent.

He consequently referred her to court to sign a deep poll to legalize her name and eventually qualify for nomination.