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Tuesday,July 07,2020 16:23 PM

Mbale UPC backs Otunnu

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th August 2009 03:00 AM

Uganda People’s Congress leaders in Bugisu region have endorsed Olara Otunnu to contest for the party presidency and the 2011 general elections.

Uganda People’s Congress leaders in Bugisu region have endorsed Olara Otunnu to contest for the party presidency and the 2011 general elections.

By Daniel Edyegu

Uganda People’s Congress leaders in Bugisu region have endorsed Olara Otunnu to contest for the party presidency and the 2011 general elections.

During a meeting at Friends Inn in Mbale town on Monday, the leaders described Otunnu as the long-awaited force that would revive the party and attract new members and those who had deserted.

“We have gone through a long political turmoil. UPC has gone down the drain and it will take us quite a while to step out of the ditch. Your return brings renewed hope that the weaknesses of the party will be exposed for reddress,” Andrew Nyote, the Mbale UPC chairperson, said.

Otunnu flew back in the country on Saturday after 23 years in exile but he has been unclear on the possibility of contesting for the UPC party presidency and the presidential elections.

Otunnu arrived in Mbale aboard a minibus and occasionally peeped out of the window to wave to the curious people on the streets.

Nyote noted that UPC had lost support in the countryside due to lack of a clear leadership.

“As you traverse the countryside, you will partly see what will please your eyes and what will not. But take note of the challenges that will not please your eyes and help find appropriate solutions to them,” Nyote advised.

Safiyi Mafabi, a member of the UPC national council, said because of his wide international exposure, Otunnu was the right candidate to lead the party.

“As a former UN undersecretary, he has interacted with various international leaders. That gives him adequate experience to take on the challenges facing this country,” Mafabi said.

“Initially, we elected Miria Obote to lead UPC as a consolation for the death of her husband. In Otunnu, we now have a vigorous person to steer the party to the top office,” he added.

Mafabi added that Miria’s election in 2006 was purposely to consolidate the party foundation, not to win general elections.

Otunnu stressed that Mbale, which was the birthplace of UPC, had sunk back in terms of economic development and infrastructure.

He said Bugisu cooperative union that used to be the pride of farmers, was at the brink of its collapse.

“Mbale used to be the cleanest city in the country. Today, it’s a shadow of itself. You are in position to cause change. Don’t be afraid or intimidated. We must reunite all the people in the country for this change,” Otunnu said.

While in Tororo town, Otunnu urged the people to fight the proposed division of the district.

He said Tororo was a cosmopolitan community with people of different descent living together as one.

“Don’t allow whoever is advocating for dividing the district, because it’s bound to cause disintegration,” said Otunnu.

At the district UPC office, Otunnu urged his excited audience sporting party colours not to fear anybody, saying Uganda belonged to everybody.

Additional reporting by Moses Nampala in Tororo

Mbale UPC backs Otunnu

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