Patrick Okumu-Ringa lost it after results of the recently concluded Nebbi Municipal parliamentary elections return his opponent as the winner and told locals to find alternative source of water.
The former public service state minister accused the area residents of abusing his generosity by not supporting his bid for MP. "Our people are not appreciative. All I wanted from them was votes. I have educated so many children, but all they tell me is I have done nothing," Okumu-Ringa was reported as saying in a local news report.
For almost a decade, Okumu-Ringa was Padyere County MP, but lost the seat to UPC’s late David Ringecan in 2006. His attempts at making a comeback has always been futile since.
Okumu-Ringa accepted responsibility for the damage and boasted that his actions would be of no consequence since he funded the water project. "I used my money to sink the boreholes, and in any case, even National Water and Sewerage Corporation doesn't supply free water," he said.
He, however, said at an appropriate time, he would reconcile with residents and assemble the boreholes. “I am hurt, but I will reconcile with them. However, for now, let them look for water elsewhere,” he said.
Okumu-Ringa’s action has drawn mix reactions among residents and leaders in the municipality, with some supporting him and others saying he had overreacted.
Jacqueline Aol, the Nebbi district Woman MP, said he should have acted with restraint. “Women are likely to bear the burden of searching for water in the absence of the boreholes,” she said.
Agnes Acen, a resident of Nebbi town, said: “It is a big blow to us. Most of us have relied on borehole water because it’s the only one we can afford.