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UPC cautions against violence in forthcoming LC elections

By Faith Amongin, Yvonne Watera

Added 28th June 2018 12:12 PM

According to UPC, the elections are in line with the party’s commitment to strengthen its foundation through grass roots mobilisation

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According to UPC, the elections are in line with the party’s commitment to strengthen its foundation through grass roots mobilisation

UPC spokesperson Micheal Osinde addresses the media at the party headquarters in Kampala. Photo by Sylvia Katushabe

The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has called on government to do all it takes to ensure that the forthcoming Local Council elections scheduled for next month are conducted in a free and fair manner.

The party believes that it is one way cases of violence will be mitigated, since some people have not yet embraced the aspect of dialogue and therefore use violence as a way of protesting. 

“The culture of impunity is on the rise but it can be squarely handled by government since it’s a big stakeholder in this forthcoming election. The state has the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights and to remain principally accountable to the citizens from perpetrators who may wish to violate the rights of the citizens,” said Michael Osinde, the UPC spokesperson. 

“This is a very key process and in case of any violation, the first person that we shall take on will be the state, because it is their obligation to make sure that the process is smooth,” he added. 

Osinde made the remarks on Wednesday while addressing the weekly press briefing at the party headquarters at Uganda House in Kampala. 

He said that these elections are vital because they are in line with the party’s commitment to strengthen its foundation through grass roots mobilisation. 

The party believes that this will help them prepare for general elections in the future where plan to front a presidential candidate. 

Meanwhile, the party has also spoken out on allegations that they sidelined Bishop Edward Engena Maitum during the party primaries for the Apac Municipality flag bearer early this month. 

Engena who is also the son of former Ugandan president and UPC founder, Milton Obote, got only two votes during the primaries where party members overwhelmingly voted Patrick Ochan.

Ochan got 168 votes to become the party’s flag bearer for the Apac Municipality MP election slated for July 19. 

Engena who then decided to contest on an independent ticket, accused the party’s electoral body of mismanaging the process, stating that there was no credibility, transparency and objectivity. 

Osinde refuted the claims, stating that Engema’s failure to win in the party primaries should be blamed on his weak mobilisation capacity. 

“For crying out loud he did all he did and did not go through unfortunately, something that goes back to his mobilisation capacity. We could not close the door on other members just because this was a son of Milton Obote, we opened for anyone who was interested,” Osinde said.

“However in his wisdom he decided to contest as an independent despite us telling him of the implications. However, it is absolutely his right, we have respected his decision and we wish him well,” he added. 

“Principally as a party the process of primaries locked him out, he is capable and has all it takes but I guess the timing was not good for him to be the flag bearer. There is no hand of the party president or any party member that can even afford to go behind and fight him,” Osinde stated.

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