UPC Factions Struggling to Finance Campaigns

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In short
Milton Obote Foundation, the Custodian of UPC properties declined a request for funding from Lira Municipality MP Jimmy Akena saying, the faction he leads is not a legitimate entity of the party.

Candidates endorsed by the Jimmy Akena-led faction of the Uganda People's Congress-UPC party are struggling to finance their campaigns due to lack of financial support from the party.

Uganda Radio Network has learnt that Milton Obote Foundation; the custodian of UPC properties and business arm of the party, rejected a request for funding amounting to 2.98 billion Shillings to finance campaign activities for candidates sanctioned by the Akena-led faction.

The request was submitted by Lira Municipality MP Jimmy Akena, who is rivaling with another faction, led by Olara Otunnu, over the leadership of the party.

The money was meant to finance campaigns of 60 parliamentary candidates, 233 Local Council V councilors, and 1028 councilors at LC III level. Part of it would be used to refund nomination fees incurred by the candidates during the nomination exercise and procurement of campaign materials.

But Nelson Ofwono, the chairperson of the foundation's board of governors said that the foundation could not direct funding to a group that is not legally recognized under the leadership of the party.

The Group General Manager at Milton Obote Foundation Terrance Oyepa, says the response was informed by the December 2015, court ruling that pronounced Akena's leadership as illegitimate.

As a result, candidates in the Akena led camp are struggling to keep their campaigns running. Some of those who talked to Uganda Radio Network said the campaign is constraining and plunging them into debt.

Edward Seggwanyi, the Secretary General in the Akena-led faction of UPC accuses Milton Obote Foundation of taking a partisan stand in the running of the party. He says the foundation should restrain itself from determining the legitimate leadership of the party but rather support the party and all its structures.
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Julius Opondo the leader of the UPC youth league chairperson and member of Otunnu's cabinet says their camp has equally submitted a request for 600 million Shillings to finance campaigns for parliamentary candidates endorsed by the Otunnu-led wing.

He told URN on phone that in the 2011 elections, Milton Obote Foundation financed the presidential campaign of Dr. Olara Otunnu with 900 million Shillings but did not support parliamentary candidates.


About the author

Annet Lekuru
Annet Lekuru is the Uganda Radio Network bureau chief for Arua. She is new in this post, assigned August 2016. However, she is no stranger to URN subcribers and readers.

Lekuru started her journalism career in 2011 with training from Radio Paris where she worked until April 2015. She started writing for URN in May 2015 as a freelance reporter.

Lekuru loves and continues to admire URN because of the reporter privilege to identify and report on issues close to one's heart which offers an opportunity to the reporter to develop a passion in a beat and report on it exhaustively.

With a background training in Conflict Sensitive Journalism she hopes to graduate into doing remarkable and recognised human rights and human interest stories in the near future.

She is interested in reporting on issues of justice, law, human rights and health.