“I concur with the judgement and I agree that the appeal be dismissed on the terms she has proposed in her reasoned judgement and I have nothing useful to add,” Hon. Justice Christopher Madrama, JA on Hon. Justice Irene Mulyagonja’s lead judgment.
Kampala—8, September 2020: The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party has had power wrangle since 2015 when two factions emerged.
Up to 7th September 2020 when Court of Appeal passed its judgement following an appeal from the ruling of the High Court in Miscellaneous Cause No. 86 of 2016 in which Prof Edward Kakonge (substituted for Joseph Bossa, deceased) sought an order of certiorari to quash the decision of the appellant (The UPC Electoral Commission) declaring James Michael Akena the president-elect of the Uganda Peoples Congress, a declaration that the said decision of the Uganda Peoples Congress Electoral Commission was inoperative, null and void as it violated the constitution of UPC, and an order prohibiting UPC and its servants or agents from enforcing the impugned decision of the UPC electoral commission, the UPC, one led by Akena and Peter Wakidi Walubiri have failed to agree.
However, according to legal judgement James Akena has been kicked out of the party presidency in what Mr Walubiri termed as a “landmark ruling”.
Prior to the ruling, Mr Walubiri and his teams had failed to breakthrough in implementing their first electoral roadmap issued seven months ago at a press conference held at Speke Hotel in Kampala.
In that presser, Mr Peter Walubiri released UPC’s national roadmap for 2020/2021—with mobilisation and recruitment of party members followed by nationwide census (registration) of party members which he said then started on 1st January 2020 and would end on 30 March 2020.
“At our last interaction, we informed the public through you that UPC was reorganising and rebuilding. The party has continued on that path by mobilising party members and reviving and reorganising its structures to participate effectively in the politics of Uganda, including participation in the forthcoming 2021 elections at all levels,” Mr Walubiri announced then.
Mr Walubiri, addressing the press, on Tuesday 8 September 2020, a day after the Court of Appeal ordered for fresh election of UPC party president, said they will embark on massive mobilisations, but most particularly holding a national delegates conference to elect the new party president and presidential flag bearer for 2021 elections.
“Today, we have good news because UPC now is on the right track,” he said, before adding: “We wish to inform you as you are most probably already aware that the long-awaited case before the Court of Appeal over the leadership dispute in UPC has been finally concluded.”
“Yesterday, Monday 7Th September 2020, the Registrar of the Court of Appeal read the judgement of the three Justices of the Court of Appeal that arose from Civil Appeal 2016 which was against the ruling of Hon. Justice Yasin Nyanzi in Miscellaneous Cause 86 of 2016. The justices of the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed Mr Akena’s appeal and made a very, very clear order that the members of the Uganda Peoples Congress should conduct nominations and elect a president in accordance with the provision of the Constitution of UPC,” Mr Walubiri told the press.
According to Malubiri, they hope the members of UPC and the general public will observe the law and respect the verdict of the Court of Appeal.
He also reveals that they have written to the Electoral Commission, Uganda Police Force, to take note of this landmark judgement and to accord the leadership of the party the rightful place to conduct the UPC affairs without interference.
“The party shall embark on an aggressive mobilisation program and preparation of party members to participate fully in the forthcoming general elections in all elective positions including the presidency of the country,” he added.
Walubiri who has been leading the other UPC faction after the death of Joseph Bbosa, announce that the revised roadmap to guide internal elections of the party shall be released early next week “to guide the process of nominations and elections of the party president and other flag bearers”.
“We continue to call up on all intending candidates to express their interest and participate in the forthcoming elections. Party leadership shall not tolerate acts of indiscipline and attempt to undermine the constitution of the party and the duty to implement the decision of the Court in accordance with the UPC Constitution, Political Parties and Organisations Act and the Constitution of Uganda,” Mr Walubiri emphasized.
Summary of the ruling
In her ruling, Irene Mulyagonja, Justice of the Court of Appeal averred: “In conclusion, this appeal id dismissed with orders that: (a) The members of Uganda Peoples Congress conduct nominations and elect a president in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution of the Uganda Peoples Congress. (b) Each party to bear its costs.”
On her part, Justice Elizabeth Musoke, Justice of the Court of Appeal averred that: “I have had the advantage of reading in draft the lead judgement in this matter prepared by my learned sister Hon. Justice Irene Mulyagonja, JA. I agree with it, with nothing useful to add.”
But she added: “As Hon. Justice Christopher Madrama, JA., also agrees, the disposition of this appeal shall be as proposed in the lead judgement of Hon. Justice Irene Mulyagonja, JA.”
The last Justice who formed the Coram, Hon. Justice Madrama, JA, also stated: “I have had the benefit of reading in draft the judgement of my learned sister Hon. Justice Irene Mulayagonja, JA. I concur with the judgement and I agree that the appeal be dismissed on the terms she has proposed in her reasoned judgement and I have nothing useful to add.”
In his press conference held on Thursday at Uganda House, said the matter begun even before he assumed office where late Joseph Bossa actually sued his president, Olara Otunu, who in turn did not enter any defense on behalf of the party.
“It was only after the Consultative Meeting of 1st July 2015 where the UPC Delegates endorsed me as their party President that I put in a defense….” Akena said.
“I got involved in the case as it went ahead because I was the single person who was going to be most affected by any decisions which did not involve my participation inn the process as I had campaigned across the country and received an overwhelming support across the length and breadth of Uganda,” he added.