Gulu High court has dismissed a petition filed by the former executive members of Acholi War Debt Claimants Association challenging their eviction from office.
Tension was high today at Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) headquarters at Uganda House in Kampala after members of a pro-Jimmy Akena pressure group loudly demanded that the Olara Otunnu-led leadership improve their act. Otunnu beat Akena to the UPC presidency but their rivalry is threatening to tear apart Uganda’s oldest political party. A press conference addressed by UPC vice president Joseph Bossa today was unusually attended by dozens of UPC supporters who are both pro-Akena and pro-Otunnu.
Although the press conference focused on fake investors and the theatrics around sugar, the UPC supporters in attendance were sizing up and closely monitoring one another as hints spread that the pro-Akena pressure group were up to some mischief. After the press conference, the rival supporters kept talking loudly what they think about each other causing commotion in the corridors of Uganda House.
At one point pro-Otunnu youths had to physically block pro-Akena youths who attempted to go to the portion of the headquarters housing the offices of Otunnu and his executive. Josephine Babirye, a member of the pressure group, accused the UPC leadership of turning the party into a business and failing to galvanize local support.
Babirye said unlike Akena who got re-elected and brought with him nine MPs from Lango, the other party leaders are simply bent on using their offices for personal gain. She wondered how even at Uganda House there is even no flag to suggest that it is the party headquarters. She denied that she is financed by the National Resistance Movement, reasoning that she wouldn’t be going hungry if indeed she had their support.
She was thrown out of the headquarters. The pressure group’s spokesman Wilfred Thogang, who attended the press conference, had photocopies of a Daily Onion article in which it was predicted that a plan had been hatched to kick out Otunnu from the party presidency. Thogang told Uganda Radio Network that UPC is in a mess and that their major aim is to rejuvenate the party at the grassroots countrywide because the UPC leadership is dormant.
Thogang revealed that they have created cells in all sub-counties in Uganda want them to monitor government’s delivery of services and provide alternative voices in order for the people to make their choices. He accused Otunnu of reneging on the big promises he made when elected like reviving old party structures and creating new ones especially in western and central Uganda, as well as closer cooperation with other opposition players.
Ali Ongulwal, an Otunnu supporter, said there is no need to single out Otunnu because as a party all members have to work as a team. Joseph Bossa, the UPC vice president, said they are concerned about the rift because it is diverting their energies and resources away from strengthening the party and making it competitive. Eighty-year-old Phoebe Nambuya, known in UPC circles as Mama Kelele, called on both sides to amicably resolve their differences and ensure UPC regains its lost glory.
uganda people's congress
pro-akena pressure group
upc pressure group