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UPC NOT PART OF AKENA-MUSEVENI POLITICAL MARRIAGE

Date and time inserted: 17/11/2015 - 14:25:27

PRESS STATEMENT

 

NO COURT DELCARED AKENA UPC PRESIDENT AND UPC NOT PART OF AKENA-MUSEVENI POLITICAL MARRIAGE

 

We would like to formally respond to allegations that court declared Akena as the rightful UPC President; and media reports that that UPC has struck an alliance with Museveni for the 2016 elections.

In addressing these issues, we want to refer to Michael Osinde Orach’s misleading and intellectually dishonest article, ‘’Olara Otunnu took a risky decision’’, which appeared in the New Vision, Monday, November 9, 2015, on page 28; and Jimmy Akena’s press statements, of 31 October 2015, titled: ‘’ Court dismisses Olarat Otunnu application seeking an order to declare Akena not Party President of UPC’’.  And finally,  the Sunday Vision, of 15 November 2015, which reported in a headline banner that Akena and UPC have joined Museveni.

First, on 29 October 2015, Justice Yasin Nyanzi did not declare Akena as the ‘’legitimate UPC President’’ as alleged in  Akena’s  mendacious press statements We would like to formally respond to allegations that court declared Akena as the rightful UPC President; and media reports that that UPC has struck an alliance with Museveni for the 2016 elections.

First, on 29 October 2015, Justice Yasin Nyanzi did not declare Akena as the ‘’legitimate UPC President’’ as alleged in Akena’s mendacious press statements of 31 October 2015. Contrary to this misrepresentation of court, the learned Hon. Justice Nyanzi, of the Civil Division of the High Courts, reserved his decision on application for temporary injunction against Jimmy Akena. Hon. Justice Nyanzi DID NOT rule that Akena was a legitimate president of UPC. That question is the remit of the main suit, from which the application for temporary injunction arose. Justice Nyanzi left things as they are because not to have don so would have disposed of the main case. Instead, he set 7 December 2015, to begin hearing the main suit, which challenges Akena’s pretentions to the UPC Presidency.

All UPC leaders and all Party members countrywide, and the public at large, know that Akena has no legitimacy. The Party constitution is clear on how UPC elects its President.

What happened on 30 May 2015, was a nomination of candidates for Party Presidency. This process was incomplete and inconclusive, because on 1 June 2015, Akena and his mob disrupted the process of verifying and authenticating the results from the district conferences, by the Party Electoral Commission.

Again on 5 June 2015, he and hired goons, with the help of police and other armed state agents, forcibly occupied Party Headquarters, where they remain to date.  Subsequently, on 1 July 2015, he called and turned a ‘’consultative meeting’’ into a ‘delegates’ conference’; where he proclaimed himself ‘’Party President’’.

All these are alien to the provisions of the UPC constitution on the elections of Party President. It is the reason the Party went to court to challenge these unlawful, illegal and illegitimate actions.

Except for a minority in Lango and Buganda; and except for Kanungu District in Kigezi; and Butaleja in Bukedi, UPC members and leaders have roundly rejected Akena’s attempt to overthrow the UPC constitutional order. Party leaders and members in Acholi, West Nile, Teso, Karamoja, Bugisu, Sebei, Bukedi, Busoga, Kigezi, Rwenzori, Ankole, Tooro and Bunyoro, have remained firm and resolute against Akena’s collusion with the state to seize and destroy UPC.

Second, his reported ‘’alliance’’ with M7 is empty; his wide and broad rejection by grassroots Party leaders and members is precisely because he is regarded as an agent of the state and Museveni’s Trojan horse to destroy UPC. Hence, the Party is not part of this purported understanding with Museveni. It remains an agreement between Akena, his wife Betty Amongi, Fred Ebil Ebil, Maxwell Akora, Ruth Acheng, Crispus Ayena Odongo, Santa Alum Ogwang and Lucy Ajok as individuals and fortune seekers; and Museveni as their patron.

No self-respecting UPC will surrender to Museveni, after 30 years of resistance and struggles for full democratic rights for the people of Uganda. In this long running struggle, many, including Milton Obote, Haji Musa Sevirumbi, Prof. Kagenda Atwoki, Imat Cecilia Ogwal, Dr. James Rwanyarare, and many others, made enormous sacrifices. The Party will not betray their cause and desecrate their names by capitulating to Museveni for silver coins and positions in his government. All UPCs, especially in Lango where these MPs come from, must stand firm and mobilize to defeat Akena and Museveni.

Third, Akena’s claims that he is joining with Museveni for peaceful transition and national reconciliation and unity is bogus. UPC has been explicit about truth telling, accountability, and national reconciliation. Both Mama Miria Obote and Olara Otunnu, as Party Presidents, could not have been clearer on this score. But Museveni has consistently rejected this idea. In 2010, Gen. David Sejjusa, while still an establishment security honcho, threatened to crush Otunnu for speaking thus. In addition, a raft of charges, including criminal libel and criminal defamation, were concocted and preferred against the UPC President.

It is clear, Akena is simply being naive. He needs to abandon his simplistic, narrow and personalized understanding of political and national matters. Reconciliation is not between him as Akena, an individual and son of Milton Obote, and Museveni as a person. The tragic national circumstances in the history of our country are not personal matters between the families of Museveni and Milton Obote as principal protagonists; these are national questions that affect the people of Uganda, the political parties, communities, nationalities, and other national stakeholders, and go beyond Akena and Museveni shaking hands and sharing electoral platform. It is something that should not be trivialized into a matter for electoral alliance and personal ambitions. It is central to the survival of this country, its unity and stability, and therefore, cannot be treated casually in the midst of election campaigns. We must arrive at a solution collectively as a country.

Fourth and finally, there is no moral and political equivalence between the UPC, led by its legitimate Party President Olara Otunnu, working with other democracy seeking forces in The Democratic Alliance Uganda (TDA-U), and supporting the candidacy of Amama Mbabazi to defeat Museveni; and that of Akena seeking to ally with Museveni in this election, to prop up Museveni in power. The asymmetry is telling, for four main reasons.

(i) Mbabazi has come out openly to decry the wrong path Museveni’s long and authoritarian rule has been leading the country along, with its attendant repression, rule by law, and injustices and inequalities. He therefore, identifies with the plight of the common man; the ordinary Ugandans for whom UPC was founded.

(ii) Museveni targeted and fought, and continue to fight to destroy the UPC and reverse its achievements and all that it represents for the people of Uganda…national independence, unity in diversity, equality, equity, equal opportunities and full citizenship rights.

(iii) UPC’s historical mission is to be the Party of the ordinary Ugandan; the disadvantaged and marginalized in our society; which is in stark contrast to the privilege and patronage system and attendant inequalities that have been erected by the NRM and Museveni over the last 30 years.

(iv) Under Museveni, the state has abdicated its role and practices discrimination in providing opportunities and basic social services like quality public education and health care to ordinary Ugandans; creating a two tier, unregulated, segregated systems; one for the rich and another for the poor.

It is for these and other reasons that the people of Uganda are united to confront and politically defeat this repressive, indifferent and discriminatory system. In contrast, Akena wants to strengthen the dictatorship and maintain these outrages. All the Ugandan democratic forces arrayed against Museveni cannot all be wrong, in their perception that the ills of our society are rooted in the personalized authoritarian rule of General Museveni. And that, all the democratic forces must work together to bring this to an end, in order for our country to heal and progress. Moreover, Museveni can no longer be the architect and manager of this transition and healing.

Clearly, Akena is the odd man out and UPC must ensure, he goes alone and politically naked. UPC is not joining Museveni; it is Akena as an individual.

As they say, the truth will set you free. The Party leadership and members, and especially the people of Lango, have been vindicated. For long, they said that Akena was working for Museveni, not UPC; but many in the Party and the media were sceptical.

Museveni’s announcement and the media headlines did not come as a surprise to the national UPC leadership and members; again especially Party members and leaders in Lango. This was common knowledge. Now that the air has been cleared, and the battle lines clearly drawn, all UPC leaders and members must defend their party and ensure that the quislings are defeated and uprooted in the coming elections.

16 November 2015

♦♦♦♦

For more information on this and other matters, contact Okello Lucima, Party Spokesperson +256-757-190157, okello.lucima@gmail.com


 
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