UPC gets second presidential aspirants for 2021 polls

Omino Tom spoke to TND News on Thursday. Down left is Dr. Dan Okello

Key Highlights:

  • Mr. Omino Tom tells TND News he’s ready to replace party President, Jimmy Akena in the coming party elections.
  • He has been Mr. Jimmy Akena’s personal and political assistant from 2008 to 2018.
  • Says he going to take UPC once elected its party President from Uganda House to the villagers [grassroots].
  • Tells TND News UPC last recruited between 1985 – 1986 and that, to-date, there are less than half a million congress members countrywide.
  • Says Dr. Dan Okello who’s another presidential aspirant from UPC is a brave man but a frustrated congressman who has not lived to see his dreams and would be a good Municipality Mayor.

Kampala – Each passing day, names of people showing interest to vie for Uganda’s Presidency are being registered. So far, more than five people have come out to speak their interests in challenging and defeating incumbent President, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni next year.

Towards the end of last year, Dr. Daniel Okello, a Lango son emerged to unseat President Museveni in 2021 polls.

Dr Okello who’s also a UPC party member told TND News then that he has got massive support from youth and vulnerable farmers countrywide.

The latest person to come out and announce his candidature is a member of ‘now in leadership and internal troubles’ Uganda Peoples’ Congress [UPC] party who’s also a party delegate.

 Omino Tom – who has been a party delegate since 2010 told TND News on Thursday he’s ready to vie for presidency and work with all those in opposition to win the 2021 presidential polls.

Responding to our question on how possible it will be for him to hold the flag, after UPC under Jimmy Akena has said they have [will have] no candidate for presidency, and his thinking of Dr. Dan Okello – another UPC member who has also shown interest to contest for presidency, he had this to say:

“It’s important to note that UPC as a political entity is one entity. The reality we find ourselves in right now is that there is a lot of contradictions from within the party structures and these contradictions are arising as a result of failure from various leaders to manage the party, or the political direction of the party in a manner that is fitting to the interest of the members.”

“Yes you made a citation on the issue that UPC is not ready to view for 2021, which will take me back to ask myself as question and to ask the audience a question that “what is the purpose of a political party?” In my view and my understanding, a political party is created to ultimately challenge [final interest is to challenge] the leadership of the country and take that leadership through the procedures and processes that are recognised by law and for UPC to say that it’s a political party, but a political party which is not ready to participate in nation elections at Presidential level would in one way or the other infer that we are relegating ourselves away from the national discourse of this country; that we are trying to relegate ourselves to either a regional party or a party that serves the interest of a particular like maybe you can see in the U.S, what they called the Green Party. The Green party doesn’t have interest of fielding a candidate for the national elections of America but it’s interested in lobbying for particular interest that it thinks fit for its creation, and it lobbies it either through the Democrats or through the Republican parties. Now, we are not that party. We are a party that was created to champion the interest of this country. So, the aspect of saying that we are not ready in my view would be defeatist.”

On why he said it would be defeatist, he added: “Why would you ascend to the top leadership of the party and say you are not ready to contest?” if you are not ready to contest, what are the possible steps, possible solutions, what are the achievable solutions that you have created so that the a party is not relegated away from the political space but to keep it viable.”

On disunity in the party, Mr. Owino tells TND News: “So, in my view, as we stand right now, it’s true disunity makes us look weak, it’s true that our failures to come together has amplified the weakness of the party and our failure to come together  has also resulted into failure for the party to mobilise because of crosscutting sections; you want to mobilise in Lango they question would be “which UPC is organizing?” is it the UPC of Akena, Otunnu, is it the UPC of Bossa [RIP], is it the UPC of Walubiri? That becomes an impediment to the thrust forward.”

On participation in the 2021 presidential [general] elections and winning it, Mr. Owino, 33, said “we should”. Can we win the election? He responded: “I think we are not in the position to win the election.”

So, what would your participation be in 2021? “In my view, we also have to understand the current terrain in which we are operating. We find ourselves in a situation that we are facing Mike Tyson with our hands tied. What does that infer? We are facing a candidate in the personality of President Museveni is campaigning or will campaign as a flag bearer of the National Resistance Movement [NRM] party and at the same time using the instruments of the state to give him advantage.”

“If you are very keen you would realise that Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings as they stand today is a result of Donald Trump using the State to circumvent or to create advantage over his “would be candidature” from the Republican party and that is the all basis why the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi and her team are pursuing Donald Trump for impeachment; that he was using instrument of the State to pursue his personal interest. Now, that is just a person who has been trying and been caught but in the situation of Uganda we find ourselves that we are having a person who is not just trying but who uses the instruments of the State which belong to all of us; partisan or non-partisan, NRM or UPC or DP or FDC –whatever shade of colour you may be in, instruments of the State are for all of us because we are all Ugandans but our rights to associate then takes us to where we belong and we should be campaigning in that line. What am I saying? In a nutshell am saying the current situation in which these political parties are operating and the interest of the population at large indicates that we want a united front; they [the population out there] want a united opposition against President Museveni.”

On the question whether opposition political parties want a united opposition against President Museveni, he said in his view he would say that “it’s up to us the leaders to stand up to the task and say that we are going to speak with all progressive democratic forces that are willing, and that have come to the conclusion that this country has to move forward. Our interest can’t not be greater than the interest of this country, our interest can’t not be greater that the interest of the entire 35 million Ugandans that we should be speaking for them and what are they saying, they are saying we should have a united front against President Museveni.”

He further acknowledges the current slippery terrain with the emergence of People Power under Kyandondo East MP, Hon. Robert Kyagulany aka Bobi Wine.

Giving his notion on the rapid rise of People Power and Bobi Wine – he said the political parties have been left behind schedule that our failure to act [wise man once said power knows no vacuum]. Our failure to act has allowed progressive democratic forces to emerge and I would take Kyagulanyi in that spectrum that he’s part of the progressive democratic forces that have arisen amidst turbulent waters called Uganda and its democracy.”

On his interest to vie for Presidency under UPC party ticket and opposition uniting and to perhaps come with one single candidate against Museveni and he’s not that sole candidate, he explained: “What is the interest of Omino Tom and UPC? It’s to have a democratic country, that’s one. We must have a democratic country and we must have democratic dispensation, now that one cuts across all of us who are contesting; be it Kyagulanyi, be it Amuriat who’s currently the FDC party president, be it Norbert Mao of DP, be it Mugisha Muntu for ANT and be it Akena right now who’s the UPC party president if I may say, we all are aspiring for a democratic country. So, by virtue of that that means we can agree on the maintenance of democracy.”

According to youthful presidential hopeful, another second agreement all opposition members have in common is that the problem of this country is not the Ugandans. “It’s not that Uganda is a bad country but it’s the people that led this country for the last 33 years have turned this country upside down.”

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