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UPC leadership faction crisis deepens

By Paul Kiwuuwa

Added 7th February 2019 12:06 PM

The faction backing Olara Otunnu has now petitioned the Executive Secretary for the Inter Party Organization on Dialogue (IPOD) demanding that James Akena, the president general of (UPC), also the current chairman of IPOD should not be financed.

UPC leadership faction crisis deepens

James Akena, the president general of UPC (File photo)

The faction backing Olara Otunnu has now petitioned the Executive Secretary for the Inter Party Organization on Dialogue (IPOD) demanding that James Akena, the president general of (UPC), also the current chairman of IPOD should not be financed.

POLITICS

Infighting within the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) political party has taken a new twist as officials jostle for leadership in one of Uganda's oldest political organisations.

The faction backing Olara Otunnu has now petitioned the Executive Secretary for the Inter Party Organization on Dialogue (IPOD) demanding that James Akena, the president general of  UPC, also  the current chairman of IPOD should not be financed. 

Through their lawyers, Katende Ssempebwa and company advocates, In a  letter dated January  21, 2019, addressed to the executive secretary for  IPOD Frank Rosa, the group led by the current Otunnu faction  president, Joseph Bbosa claims that Jimmy Akena was never elected as the party president saying his  engagements with IPOD are illegal and should be shunned.

Bbosa's faction is in contention with another led by  Akena, the Lira Municipality MP, who claims to be the rightful party president. The matter is still in court.

 " IPOD  is advised to desist from engaging with UPC faction led by Akena and to desist from financing their programmes and activities since it would be an act of abuse of the court process, since the matter is currently in the Court of Appeal," reads  the  letter.

The letter adds " It would also be in total violation of  the UPC constitution and  against the principles of promotion of democracy governance in UPC and the rule of law."

"It is high time UPC Akena faction denounce its alliance with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and concentrate on mobilising party members to take over power from NRM," reads the letter in beats.

The Bbosa led UPC faction  made the remarks at   a press conference on Wednesday at Speke Hotel in Kampala. 

The meeting was attended by Ishaa Otto,  national secretary for mobilisation, Rev. Jacinto Ogwal secretary general   also  named Peter Mukidi Walubiri as the new vice president for the faction  party .

Walubiri, a renowned constitutional lawyer, will deputize Bbosa   who took over power  in 2016 when Otunnu retired.

Akena reacts:

Akena however insisted he was the duly elected UPC president ,  laughed at the faction and said:  " Ogwal and Ishaa Otto  have no moral authority to talk about  his leadership 2016 election contested for  Member of Parliament for Otuke county  on independent ticket .

Ogwal lost in the UPC Primaries in 2016 and ceased to be a member of the UPC and a flag-bearer of the party, therefore he can't claim to be UPC's secretary general ,"Akena explained. 

"Betty  Amongi, formerly Apac district Woman MP, ousted Isha Otto in a bitterly contested election for Oyam South in 2011, when he contested for Member of Parliament  on independent ticket he also ceased to be a member   of UPC. "

Akena said : " In IPOD there is no representative of  ‘independents' in Parliament  which Ogwal and Isha Otto contested for in the parliament seats,  it is only party representations." 

The trio are  feeling jealous of me because I was able to steer the IPOD  summit attended by President Museveni as chairman of the ruling NRM party and four Opposition parties; including   UPC represented by party president  Akena, Democratic Party (DP) President general Norbert Mao and the Justice Forum (Jeema) represented by its president, Asuman Basalirwa.

Akena   said  all the seven current MPs in the 10th Parliament were endorsed by  him, the  recognised party president. None of the MPs were endorsed by Ogwal and Isha Otto who claim to be UPC faction leaders.

 Akena said political players who doubted the summit would take place saying the IPOD meeting was a key step in the journey to realizing democracy in Uganda.

He said there is a court order in the Court of Appeal maintaining the leadership of Akena until disposal of the matter in the same court.

In December 2016, Justice Yasin Nyanzi of the High Court civil Division ruled that Akena was never elected UPC president.

The Akena faction maintains  the case in question was appealed before court. UPC  appealed against Justice Nyanzi's ruling insisting that Akena is still the party spokesperson

 

 

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