Akena has power to run UPC activities, court rules

By Michael Odeng

The court restrained Akena's rivals from interfering with his leadership and running of the party's bank accounts at Orient bank until the main appeal is heard and determined.

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The court of Appeal has ruled that Lira Municipality MP Jimmy Akena and his cabinet have powers to run Uganda People's Congress (UPC) activities.

On Friday, Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma issued an interim order staying the implementation of High court orders that had cancelled the election of Jimmy Akena as president of UPC party.

The court restrained Akena's rivals from interfering with his leadership and running of the party's bank accounts at Orient bank until the main appeal is heard and determined.

Akena's rival, which UPC and its Electoral Commission dragged to court include UPC vice president under Olara Otunnu's faction Joseph Bbosa, National chairman Prof. Edward Kakonge and Ishea Otto Imizza.

"An interim order staying the execution and implementation of High court orders, restraining Bbosa and others from interfering in the activities and exercise of authority of UPC and its leadership under Akena and his cabinet is hereby granted," Kavuma ruled.

The court also ruled that Akena's rivals should not interfere with UPC leadership including giving directions for operating its bank accounts, in particular, the defreezing of its bank account at Orient bank with or without naming new signatories thereto enable UPC effectively manage and run its affairs.

He also directed the Court of Appeal / Constitutional court registrar, Deo Ndizimana to fix the hearing date of the main case without delay.

Kavuma stated that the cost of the application shall abide the outcome of the main application.  

In August 2016, High court Judge Yasin Nyanzi cancelled the election of James Akena as UPC president and ordered for the party's electoral body to organize fresh elections.

In his ruling, Justice Nyanzi stated that the delegates' conference which elected Akena was not constituted in accordance with the UPC constitution. Akena replaced Olara Otunnu in that disputed election.

The ruling was in response to an application filed by Bossa, challenging Akena's presidency.

Bossa petitioned the High court civil division on June 1, 2015 after Akena was controversially declared president by some party members.

In September, Otunnu's led UPC administration also petitioned High court seeking a permanent injunction restraining Akena from unlawfully occupying the various party positions including that of the president.