Why UPC might break into three popular pieces


UPC's Jimmy Akena (top L) Dr Dickson Opul (M) Mr Peter Walubiri, Mr Joseph Ochieno (bottom L) and Dr Dan Okello (bottom R) all want to be party president of UPC.

“The UPC election results have been rejected by the three out of four candidates, namely Dr Opul Dickson, Mr Joseph Ochieno and Dr Dan Okello,” the latter, says.

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Oyam—27, December 2020: On 1 August 2020 and 4 December 2020, two factions of Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) party had delegates conferences to elect and renew terms of office of their party presidents.

On 1 August, Mr Jimmy Akena got his second term running up to 2025. Mr Akena became a sole candidate in that contest after Mr Tom Omino, Mr Denis Enap Adim and a lady candidate Ms Beatrice Amaro all left the race.

The trio couldn’t afford shs20m for nomination fee, as was set by Akena and his cabinet.

Mr Akena’s re-election caused debates, with his nemesis calling it illegal, null and void. The Court of Appeal had ruled days before that Akena’s [re] election was illegal, with the Court directing for the fresh election of a new party president.

In his many statements, especially following the Court of Appeal ruling, Akena and many of his aides said the ruling was “overtaken by events”. They have conceded nothing to date.

In his end-of-year address on Wednesday 23, December, Mr Akena vowed to crush his opponents who are disturbing the UPC he leads.

On 4 December 2020, UPC under Mr Peter Walubiri Mukidi also held a delegates conference to elect a new party president as ruled by the Court of Appeal.

Until 17 December, nobody knew who had won the party presidency. Releasing the election results via Zoom, same day, Mr Hamuza Ssewankambo, chairperson of the electoral commission appointed by Walubiri, announced his boss as party president-elect with 48 percent.

Mr Walubiri’s immediate challenger, Joseph Ochieno, got 46 percent. Others: Dr Dan Okello got 2 percent and Dr Dickson Opul got 6 percent.

This election was soon rejected by Ochieno in an interview with TND News on Wednesday.

“I have not seen the results; not seen the raw data. What I know is that I won in most of the regions and I do not know where 46 percent is coming from,” he said, during an interview.

He also said UPC will stay for long but should be removed from “political tourists,” adding: “UPC is bigger than us, bigger than NRM, and we will all leave it.”

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Like Mr Ochieno, Dr Dan Okello has also come out to protest the elections. He cites multiple frauds and falsification.

In his demand to all UPC presidential candidates, district chairpersons, delegates and senior members, the no-nonsense Okello, wants fresh election (delegates’ conference).

“The UPC election results have been rejected by the three out of four candidates namely Dr Opul Dickson, Joseph Ochieno and Dr Dan Okello and all the candidates expect Mr Peter Walubiri are demanding and of the view that fresh delegates’ conference should be conducted,” Dr Okello says.

“All the three candidates together with our 90% of UPC members all-over Uganda agree that the delegates conference was rigged by Peter Waubiri faction and the election was not free and fair,” the former Makerere University lecturer adds.

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According to him, only legitimate delegates should be invited to participate in the fresh delegates conference and the list should be displayed and verified ahead of voting day.

“All candidates must consent to the list,” the former Erute North MP candidate in Lira district, Mr Okello further demands, adding that candidates’ agents “be allowed to participate in the tally of results”.

Shortly after Mr Hamuza Ssewankambo announced his victory on 17 December, Mr Walubiri was sure of the election protest by his fellow candidates.

For me, I don’t want to go bickering. I was the incumbent now re-elected,” he responded when asked of any possible move by his competitors to refute the election results.

He, however, added: “Aggressive mobilisation of party members and leaders at all levels start now; to get as many party members as possible.

“The party has challenges at ‘whole levels’—I am ready to do a lot, get people to get active,” he told TND News.

Some political pundits who spoke to TND News Sunday have predicted an unstable future for UPC. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one says “it’s quite perturbing this fresh election (delegates conference) was full of fraud, forgery and lack of integrity; I see an unstable future for UPC”.

The local pundit further says both Mr Walubiri and Mr Akena have killed UPC, and Dr Okello’s demands must be considered for the best of UPC.

“No doubt, we will see another faction of UPC coming with a series of court cases in the coming year.”


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