2026 Race: Greater Nebbi elders still sceptical about youthful political aspirants – report

There used to be a proverbial saying that youths are the leaders of tomorrow. But from the side
look, the notion seems to be shifting the goalpost to the future and the tomorrow is now.

This is being typified by lionhearted steps many youths are taking in assuming political roles and
leadership across the country.

The continuous pouring in of many youthful figures in the political scene if truly stand will be more
hair-raising for most seasoned politicians.

The phenomenon of many youths joining politics unlike before is exacerbated by a battery of
influence from Uganda’s political atmosphere which to many political activists is largely
championed by the National Unity Platform (NUP) party president Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi wine),
whose entrance into the political scene has seen several youths getting involved into the
country’s politics.

This was out rightly demonstrated in the 2021 Uganda general election where the nation witnessed
a more robust youth participation in the country’s political scene that to many political analysts
signify an undeniably changing political landscape going forward.

Moving a step away from the bigger picture at national level, this publication has taken a step to
keenly analyse the political landscape in greater Nebbi ahead of the 2026 political season.

Understandably, there are hundreds of youths that have publicly declared on social media
platforms, local radios, and public places of gathering their intension of taking up leadership mantles
at different levels across the sub region, out numbering elders who used to be favourites. It is worth
noting that youths used to be mobilizers and morale boosters during political campaigns.

Why a shift in goal post?

Many youthful political aspirants that this reporter had conversation with, asserted different
experience about their lost trust and hope in some seasoned politicians and believe they too can
turn the table around given their education qualification and experience.

“I can tell you that we started witnessing the leadership of some of these people in the early 2000s
but nothing has changed under their leadership, I feel like we the youths have the potential to do
what they have not done over the years” A youth activist who has since declared his interest to
contest in Okoro County as area member of parliament said under the condition of anonymity.

Despite these youths’ political ambition, there is a growing scepticisms amongst elders majority of
whom are the real voters. This reporter talked to some elders about youth’s political ambition

Night Acanda aged 60, is a resident of Alengukuma cell, central ward Paidha town council, Zombo
district. She sells palm oil in Paidha main market. Asked about the current youth involvement in the
forthcoming 2026 general election, she said “for me I still doubt if these youths are really serious, for
us we need leaders who are old and matured enough to fight for our rights. We are not getting sage
now yet am 60 years old, that plight can best be presented by matured leaders who understands our
challenge”

Bidongo Okun Andrew, A 73 year old resident of Kololo cell in Paidha town, Zombo district said
youths who are preparing for leadership should first start from local leadership to higher political
positions.

“It is not bad for the youths to take up leadership but, many of the youths am seeing now, can’t
manage leadership. Some of them are just on media talking yet in actual sense they are not tested.
How can you convince me to entrust you with my vote yet I have not seen you leading even at a
village youth council? “Bidongo asked

Grace Ajula 50, a resident of Sille village, Fualonga parish, Alwi sub county Pakwach district reasoned
that “ some of the youths showing interest in leading us needs time to learn, we know they
have the qualification but leadership is something that needs time, you can’t just come from
nowhere and start leading us, you need to learn”

Vincent Ocokuru 67, a resident of Thatha ward, Nebbi municipality said “many of them are declaring
their intention on social media without coming to consult us. The first thing is we don’t know them,
they need to first consult us before declaring their political ambition “

Recently, the newly appointed state minister of energy and mineral development Phiona Nyamutoro
also the national female youth Member of Parliament heroically landed home to celebrate her

ministerial appointment with the electorates of Nebbi District at Nyaravur-Angal town council where
she hails from.
Sources in her camp told this publication that the minister is believed to be in her 30s upon climbing
to the succulent ministerial position has declared interest for Nebbi woman MP seat. The sources
say her recent homecoming celebration that mustered hundreds of people in her backyard in
Mbaro, was more of introducing and endorsing her political ambition of contesting for the woman
Member of Parliament seat for Nebbi district.

With already strong financial backing and support given her positioning, the current woman member
of parliament for Nebbi and a veteran teacher Agnes Acibu have a daunting task lying ahead
notwithstanding.

In the contest for the Nebbi woman Member of Parliament seat, a couple of young faces have shown
their interests too.

The coming in of these young energetic youths with new ideologies to many, is sort of white-
washing the old notion that old people are the most result oriented leaders.

Saviour Rwothomio, the youth chairperson Nebbi District has equally declared his intention of
contesting for the LCV chairperson of Nebbi district. This is against the backdrop that the current
youthful LCV chairperson Emmanuel Orombi is moving a step ahead to a more juicy position of the
area Member of Parliament Padyere County.

In a twist of the event, Emmanuel Ongiertho, the area Member of Parliament for Jonam County Pakwach
the district is shifting his goal post to contest in Nebbi Municipality taking over Hashim Suleiman the
current MP of Nebbi Municipality.

The youthful Pakwach LCV chairperson Omito Robert Steen has openly declared his intention to contest for Jonam County. Media reports indicate that in Pakwach, the ground will be
extremely harsh for many politicians, given the continuous operation of the fisheries protection unit on
the waters of river Nile and Lake Albert making life extremely hard for the fishing community.

Many other youths have shown interest in the Member of Parliament seat in Pakwach District,
rolling heads with the old guards who still garner firm support and trust from the old generation.

In Zombo, Nebbi, and Pakwach, The bloating lists of people who want to take over parliamentary seats is
becoming a talking point amongst many electorates. The majority of the faces popping up are new.

Amongst the youthful figures whose names are making rounds in Zombo are Sam Kumakech, Sam
Rwothomio, Topista Acamfua, Sunday Omirambe, Sadiki Onencan, Okirwoth Sunday, Amos Jacan,
Phiona Anirwoth, and Cosmas Omirambe, amongst others.

Notable amongst some of the faces familiar on the media is Joseph Sabiti former NBS television
journalist and currently the press secretary to the speaker of the Ugandan parliament who has been lately cited
in different places of public gatherings like churches, and football matches amongst others. This is a
strategy he is using to introduce himself to the electorates most of whom don’t know him
completely.

In Uganda, young people make up nearly half of all registered voters with approximately 6.4 million
Young voters under the age of 30 and the youths form 78 per cent of the country’s population
according to the 2014 population census.

During a youth summit organized by Zombo youths at Paidha Cultural Centre in Paidha town council
Zombo district recently, The LC III chairperson of Paidha town council Innocent Onega said, there is
absolutely nothing unconstitutional about youths taking up political mantles in the area.

As the contestants’ lists keep bulging, some people believe many will pull out of the race given the
country’s high commercialization of politics that to a larger extent favours those with strong financial
muscle.