Until his father’s demise, little or nothing was known about Emmanuel Omoding’s political ambitions in Serere or even across the Teso Sub Region.
Omoding who has spent the better part of his life in Australia was on Saturday 24, December 2022 during the burial of his parents was fronted by his family to replace his dad after holding a closed door meeting with Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa and MPs from Teso under Teso Parliamentary Group.
During the meeting attended by over 10 Teso MPs, the members agreed to support the son of the late Okabe, according to a source who attended the meeting.
Both MP Patrick Okabe and wife Christine Okabe perished in a road accident on Monday 19, 2022 while en-route for Christmas holiday abroad.
While speaking to mourners on December 24, 2022, at their ancestral home in Oburin Village in Olio Sub-county, the family representative Stephen Ochola noted that the family had agreed to front the deceased son Emmanuel Omoding.
Ochola told thousands of mourners in attendance that they wanted Omoding to continue with the legacy of his parents.
Elijah Okupa the Kasilo County Legislator who also supported the move said, Okabe had his first son who was a very educated person.
“We would want the government and the people of Serere who believed in Okabe to fully support the late Okabe’s son,” said Okupa.
Meanwhile Omoding while at the burial declared his interest in the Serere County Parliamentary race publicly before his clan elders, local leaders and dignitaries who were present at the burial.
Omoding said that he was ready to fulfill what his entire father started and all his projects accomplished.
He noted that he has connections outside that will enable him to complete his father’s projects.
Before his death, Late Okabe had established a bottom to top approach under his Patrick Okabe Foundation.
Under this foundation, MP Okabe had hoped to transform people’s livelihoods through village savings groups. He established 157 village savings groups with each consisting of less than 100 members.
By early December 2022, different groups had saved over 80 Million Uganda shillings which to late Okabe was a great milestone.
Okabe also had hoped that by 2023, he was going to transform the groups to focus on commercial farming.
In one of his last addresses, late Okabe told members of Omagara and Olupe parishes that his interests were to make Serere a model district.
His son however has said that he will indeed fulfill all that his father started.
Omoding added that he brings servant leadership to the people of Serere and would be a bridge for unity that will help to ease lobbying from donors and the government.
Although NRM already has a flag bearer (Philip Oucor) who became second to late Okabe in the January 14, 2022 polls, Omoding has got the favors from the Speaker of Parliament Anita Annet Among, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, NRM Vice Chairperson Eastern Uganda Mike Mukula, several CEC members including Lydia Wanyoto, Ministers and MPs who endorsed him and pledged to support his candidature.
Late Okabe Patrick (Independent) won the Serere County seat with 17,826 votes while Oucor Philip (NRM) garnered 12,631 votes, Onguruco Martin (Independent) garnered 10,513 votes, Eratu Emmanuel (Independent) garnered 1,035 votes, Eyaru Joshua (FDC) garnered 945 votes and Mukhalu Richard Okodel (NUP) garnered 338 votes.
Analysts in the region believe that having been one of the beloved sons who watched all what his father had put in place they are hopeful Omoding can be a perfect replacement.
Richard Emanio the head of Patrick Okabe Foundation, the politics of succession in the country is not new saying people should not doubt Omoding since he possesses the requisite academic requirements to become a Member of Parliament.
Emanio added that, “This time the people of Serere are mourning and feel much pain about the loss of their beloved MP, about replacement, I can only say that the next MP is already endorsed by God and he will use the people of Serere to confirm his Will. It’s true the elder Son, Omoding Emmanuel Okabe has shown interest and will present himself to the people of Serere constituency. Let the people make their judgment and make the best selection. What is very important is that we need a person who will stand with the people of Serere and give continuity to the vision the late had.”
Daniel Auta a voter from Kyere town council believes that the son of late Okabe can be a perfect replacement and has been one of the sons the late loved.
“I believe and trust he can make it. He is an open-minded person and his speech during the burial of his father and mother moved me to believe in him,” he said.
Other voters also claimed that Omoding is the only remaining gift the late MP Okabe left for them.
Whereas his family and friends believe that Omoding is the right choice for the job and would achieve what his father had in plan for Serere, other pundits in the region who asked never to be mentioned in-order to speak freely say that evidence has shown that not all young people who join leadership after great political giants have fitted in their shoes.
Pundits claim that Omoding has a huge task ahead of him on whether he will deliver and match the standard of his father, adding that he should brace himself for the uphill assignment.