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{UAH} hON. Odonga Otto.


Articulate, eloquent and witty, the Aruu South MP was in many ways a bright political prospect when he entered parliament in 2001 fresh from university. He asked tough questions of government officials and always appeared to be armed with facts. You could think he had been in parliament for a while. When he spoke, the entire house listened.

"He is going to be the next Ben Wacha," former Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi once told me in the corridors of parliament in 2005, drawing parallels between the youthful MP and the former Oyam North legislator who was respected by both sides for his political maturity and deep knowledge of parliamentary procedure. This was never to be. Overwhelmed by fame and flush with some money, Otto started losing his way in the 8th Parliament (2006-2011). he started becoming irregular in parliament, spending more time in Gulu where he ran some businesses. He started making headlines for wrong reasons (pulling a gun at a pump attendant, child neglect, partying etc). He generally lived life in the fast lane.

 In the 9th Parliament (2011-2016), Otto completely went off the boil. He started fighting his party and unsubstantiated reports emerged that he had been compromised by the NRM. He became very irritable to criticism and once stormed offices of the Red Pepper. He is still an MP (in case you are wondering) but has gone completely quiet. In 2001 when he broke onto the political scene, Otto had the markings of a future opposition political leader. Today, it looks improbable that he can be appointed Leader of the Opposition let alone a chair of an accountability committee in parliament. What happened?

Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

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