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EXTRA: Politician dismantles boreholes after losing election, asks residents to look elsewhere for water

Patrick Okumu-Ringa, a Ugandan politician, has reacted angrily to a defeat in a recent parliamentary by-election.

Okumu-Ringa, who lost in the recently concluded Nebbi municipality parliamentary poll, decided to dismantle all the boreholes he had sunk in the area.

The boreholes have been supplying water to the residents, free of charge, for the past two decades.

Confirming the dismantling, the lawmaker accused his constituents of not appreciating his efforts to empower them.

He said the residents abused his generosity by not supporting his parliamentary bid, adding that he had no regrets over his actions.

He, however, indicated his willingness to reconcile with residents and assemble the boreholes at an “appropriate time”.

“I am hurt, but I will reconcile with residents and assemble the boreholes,” he said.

“For now, let them look for water elsewhere. Our people are not appreciative; all I wanted from them was votes. I have educated so many children, but all they tell me is that I have done nothing.”

Asked if his action would not be considered offensive by the government, he said: “I don’t think the government should be offended. I used my money to sink the boreholes, and in any case, even National Water and Sewerage Corporation doesn’t supply free water.”

The process of dismantling the boreholes started on Monday and was concluded on Wednesday, three days after the election results were announced.

Okumu-Ringa is said to own huge chunks of land in the municipality and had drilled 10 boreholes in different wards which had been supplying water to area residents for free.

However, things changed after his bid to make a comeback to parliament was nipped in the bud on successive occasions.

He initially lost during the ruling party NRM’s nominations but opted to run as an independent candidate, claiming President Yoweri Museveni’s party had rigged him out.

But again, he lost in the main elections, coming a distant third by securing 1,270 votes out of the 9,940 votes cast.