UPC Wars: President Akena, despite court victory calls for unity in party

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UPC Wars: President Akena despite court victory calls for unity in party. Whisper Eye News

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On Tuesday the Court of Appeal ruled and dismissed the application of contempt of court for want of prosecution citing continued waste of court’s time.

Background

UPC president Mr Jimmy Akena was dragged to court by then party Vice President Dr Jospeh Bosa under the Olara Otunnu administration who challenged his election as UPC President in 2015 on grounds that the UPC party Electoral Commission did not have the powers to declare him as UPC President.

The deceased who was later substituted with Professor Edward Kakonge argued in his petition that the delegate’s conference, which elected Akena wasn’t properly constituted.

High Court Judge Yasin Nyanzi agreed with the deceased and declared that the leadership of Akena was illegal. Nyanzi also ordered that Akena should not in any way be running the party activities including finances before he ordered for fresh elections.

However, Akena challenged Justice Nyanzi’s ruling in the Court of Appeal. 

In July, the Court of Appeal issued an interim order blocking UPC from conducting a National Delegates Conference that was slated for August 1 2020, where a new party president was going to be elected.   

But Akena says the court order was served on 3rd August 2020 after the delegates conference.  

It is against that back drop that one Prof. Edward Kakonge filed a contempt of court application in Court against Akena on 11th August 2020 with prayers that;

  • 1.Convening, presiding over, and participating in a delegate’s conference of Uganda Peoples Congress on 1st August 2020 and Prof Edward Kakonge the applicant claimed this was in contempt of court.
  • .Declared that any resolution and decision taken at the Delegates Conference including the election of the Party President should be null and void.
  • Declared that all actions done by the Party President after the Delegates’ Conference in the capacity of the Party President of UPC including appointment of Party Cabinet members should be null and void.
  • Sought for the Party President to be committed to civil prison for a period of one year for allegedly acting in contempt of the court order.
  • Prof. Kakonge further wanted Akena to pay damages and/or compensation of a sum of UGX 300,000,000 (Three hundred million shillings) for contempt of Court order

Since then, that application has been pending and awaiting final decision by Court.

On Tuesday 14th September 2021, the Court of Appeal delivered its ruling and dismissed the application for want of prosecution citing continued waste of court’s time as quoted, “…. we see no reason to continue wasting Court’s time and hereby exercise the discretion of this court under Rule 2(2) of the Rules of Court to dismiss this Application for want of prosecution. In dismissing this Application, we have acted pursuant to the inherent powers granted to this Court under the said provision, to prevent abuse of Court process. The application, therefore, stands dismissed with no order as to costs “.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday at the party headquarters in Kampala, Akena said with this dismissal, all decisions taken at the Kasangati 1st August 2020 Party Delegates Conference stand.

He said “On behalf of Uganda Peoples Congress and on his own behalf, he welcomes this ruling and congratulates UPC members upon this achievement as they continue to focus on rebuilding the Party from the grassroots”

The Party belongs to members. Their will, decisions and mandate through relevant Party Organs is paramount and should be respected! He added.

Akena reassures UPC members that, he will protect that mandate you gave me within his capacity as Party President and he will move the Party forward.

He said that, “Now we need to come together in the spirit of reconciliation, unity, and work for the Party at this material time where concerted efforts are most needed”.

He also called upon regional vice-chairpersons, district/branch party leaders and all members to now concentrate and focus on working for the common good of the UPC, which is but not limited to mobilization and recruitment of young peoples/new members in the Party within their respective branches as well as being active in one’s branch.

According to Lira Municipaliy MP, the physical party activities have been cut short by the lockdown and covid-19 measures that are purposely to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Party will continue to operate under the provided guidelines until the restrictions are fully lifted in the country.

Tribute:

President Jimmy Akena sent sincere condolences to the family and Orthodox Church for the loss of Archbishop Yonah Lwanga who recently died in Greece.

He said. “Archbishop Lwanga was not only instrumental in religious work, but he also stood out clearly on issues of human rights and democracy whenever the need arose”!

Akena also mourned the loss of what he described as Uganda refined businessman/entrepreneur Hajji Bulaimu Muwanga Kibirige popularly known as B.M.K. who was laid to rest last week on Sunday 12th September 2021.

He said . “BMK owned a large business empire within East and Central Africa thus offering job opportunities as well as good services to both the people and the country”.

President Akena also informed party members and Ugandans that UPC Party Secretary-General Hon. Fred Ebil lost his sister Juliet Ebil on Tuesday 14th September 2021 at Lira Regional Referral Hospital.

According to Akena , the late comrade Juliet has been a human rights defender working with Facilitation for Peace and Development (FAPAD) – non-profit organization, based Lira as Programme Manager at the time of her death! The late will be laid to rest on Saturday 18th September 2021 at Aputi Village, Abeli Parish, Akalo Subcounty, Kole District.


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