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MP Adoa: Why I defeated Alice Alaso

Hellen Adoa

HELLEN ADOA is the Woman MP for Serere district. She defeated the incumbent FDC strongwoman Alice Alaso on her second attempt. She told Edris Kiggundu the tricks she used to defeat one of the more prominent female politicians in the country.

What were you doing before you joined politics?

I was in the education sector. From my childhood I loved being a teacher. When I grew up I decided to open a secondary school in Soroti 15 years.

Since then I have built three more primary schools, two in Serere district. I also got involved in the health sector. I put up two health centres. I also undertook free screening of women for cervical cancer and treating general illnesses.

Did you do all this with an eye on politics?

No. I did not have any idea of joining politics then. But I was touched when I saw people suffering from different illnesses. One day when I was in Bukedea for burial, I met a specialist in cervical cancer. I invited him to talk to women about cervical cancer and I eventually decided on my own to treat women affected by cervical cancer.

You defeated Alice Alaso, one of the more prominent female politicians not only in Teso but nationally. What was the trick?

In 2011 I contested after Serere was created as a district as a sole NRM candidate, my sister Alice Alaso decided to come here. We competed and she defeated me even when I thought I had won. 

In 2016, there was no trick. I sensitized people about their rights and told them about guarding votes. Secondly, people loved me so much. I am a born of Serere, I am married in Serere. Alaso is a good leader and person but she did her part. God used her to play her part, it is the same God now using me to play my part.

What are some of the issues that you want the 10th parliament to urgently address?

The health sector needs to be improved. People are dying of hepatitis B in Serere and other parts of the country. In my view every district should have a hoistal which will ensure that there is at least a doctor.

The sector of education and Sports must be improved. We have just been discussing a special budget for sports [in parliament]. Secondly I think all roads linking one district to another must be tarmacked. This will improve movement and delivery of services.

Is there anything that has impressed you about the 10th parliament?

First of all for me, what has made me happy with this parliament is the friendly atmosphere amongst MPs. When we are together, we care for one another. We feel this is a brother, this is a sister. When I lost my father, a number of MPs and parliamentary staff consoled me. Many came all the way for the burial.

Secondly, this parliament is starting to work together. It is not necessarily that it is NRM Vs Opposition. When a bill is brought, people argue passionately.

What has annoyed you?

I am annoyed with the behavior of some members who have some knowledge or connive with some groups outside of parliament to frustrate our work. The other day they brought pigs here. I feel very bad about this.

Are you saying the public is not justified to express anger towards parliament for its extravagant expenditure?

I have no problem with the public expressing anger, but they can do this without using animals. It hurts me, like any human being to see a pig being mistreated. On money for vehicles, my idea would be for parliament to just buy us cars or for a cost sharing arrangement.

Which MP(s) inspires you?

If I have so many people that inspire me in this parliament. The speaker, Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah, inspire me. But when it comes to backbenchers, I am inspired by Hon Abdu Katuntu. He is so calm when he is talking. Even Hamson Obua presents issues very well.

ekiggundu@observer.ug

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