UPC party boss, Dr. Olara Otunnu has vowed to stay on as party president despite calls for him to step down.
By Jeff Andrew Lule
UGANDA People’s Congress (UPC) party boss, Dr. Olara Otunnu has vowed to stay on as party president despite calls for him to step down.
Addressing journalists at the party headquarters on Wednesday, Otunnu insisted he was still the party leader until his term expires.
The initial term of office for UPC president was seven years. However, the recent constitutional amendment reduces it to five. Otunnu’s tenure is expected to end 2014.
“Whether they disown me or not, I am still at Uganda House legally. I cannot be removed by individuals because they are not the party organs,” he said.
On Tuesday, party top officials led by the chairman, Maj Edward Rurangaranga disowned Otunnu, claiming he is not a genuine member of the party.
Rurangaranga said Otunnu was not fit to head the party because he had never liked nor done anything to show his love for the party.
This follows Otunnu’s move on Monday this week to fire two of the top party officials, John Odit (secretary general) and David Pulkol (secretary for policy and mobilization).
“He was supposed to consult the party cabinet, Central Executive (CE) and National Council (NC) to decide on the matter but he did not do so. He only consulted the elders’ council which is not our organ, “argued Rurangaranga.
“He acted like a dictator who does not respect the law. If not then he was just ignorant of the constitutional provisions.”
Otunnu said he consulted the elder’s council and the cabinet, but stressed that as the appointing authority, he can decide when to make changes without consultations.
“Which cabinet is he talking about? Unless when cabinet to him means his vice president, Joseph Bbosa and deputy treasurer, Winnie Adiyo. Let him show us the list of people who were in that cabinet meeting,” Rurangaranga noted.
The cabinet is supposed to constitute from 14 to 27 officials.
Otunnu said those who want him out should wait for the coming delegate’s conference and other top organs to discuss his position.
“Why do they come out now when I have fired the two officials? Why was I allowed to compete for party presidency when I am not a party member? That is why I don’t take them serious,” Otunnu said.
He said there are some important persons infiltrated in the party by the state for other interests but pretend to be fighting for the party.
“These people pretend to be more Catholic than the Pope. We have every information and they always create big lies to disorganize us but I will not allow,” he said.
Otunnu noted that his decision is subject to further debate in case members think it was not right than using exposing in-house matters, and tarnishing his name.
About cooperating with other opposition groups, Otunnu said it was agreed upon by the NC, as one of the move to effect democratic change in the country.
Otunnu vows not to quit UPC