“..UPC, FDC, NRM, have veered away from democratic values. For instance, the agitation which is coming out from NRM members.”
Oyam – January 11, 2022: Renowned UPC bigwig and critic of Jimmy Akena Obote has announced he’s partially leaving the contentious party.
Ishaa Otto worked closely with Peter Walubiri and the group in an attempt to eject Akena from Uganda House, 6th Floor.
The Walubiri faction says Akena – son to late President of Uganda and UPC leader, Dr Apollo Milton Obote was illegally elected to occupy a seat left by his father, mother and Amb. Dr Olara Otunu.
For years, both factions (one led by Akena and another by Walubiri) locked horns off-courts and in the courts of law over legitimacy and ‘hidden’ funds by the Milton Obote Foundation (MOF).
MOF, one faction says favours another. The Foundation has been silent while her children clash over power and money.
Back to Otto, an astute politician and activist, he has often attacked the Museveni administration over corruption, undemocratic governance, taking charge of sham elections, among others.
The former Oyam South MP, Otto, in an exclusive interview with TND News Monday, thinks it’s the right time for him to move on his own. He tells this publication “it’s over with UPC affairs”.
He has announced the formation of the National Democratic Council (NDC), a pressure group with an aim of setting the values of democracy using civic actions, civic education and mobilization of citizens.
Through NDC, he says citizens will appreciate the values and principles of democracy.
“Our objective is that we shall register it formally as a political pressure group with the electoral commission. We shall do. Although we are also cautious because sometimes we you now formally register that is when you get your activities curtailed.”
He adds that “The worst thing with this State is they don’t live with competition and new ideas. When you initiate new ideas to improve the lives of the common man they start to look for legal curtailing.”
The former MP says a pressure group like TDA headed by former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi in the 2016 elections was never registered. “Even what they are calling Peoples Front for transition (PFT) is not registered but a conglomerate of people coming together saying we gonna do this.”
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“If you look carefully about the political parties: the UPC, FDC, NRM, they have veered away from the democratic values. For instance, the agitation which is coming out from NRM members. How democratic is such a kind of process? Why can’t they follow the democratic process? Why can’t they do it in a democratic way?”
Otto says NRM now imposes their interest on the people, recalling that even the age limit amendment, term limit amendment and now their proposed amendment on electing the president – emphasizing “they will do it – they will do it.”
“All these are contrary to the democratic principles. The democratic principles does not require you to impose the constitution or use the Constitution to impose any idea on the people.”
He bashes Parliament, saying, “Parliament is not a democratic institution, as they say, Parliament is an arm of government. It operates with other actors in the premises of democracy.”
“For us (NDC), we are looking at how we instill democratic values and principles in the people of Uganda. So, it doesn’t matter whether you belongs to a political party because even when you are in a political party you are not practicing democracy.”
In what sounded like an attack on Akena and his Kampala-road based group, the departing Walubiri group’s Secretary-General says, “It happened where a group of people mobilized themselves and overthrew a legitimate group.”
Quoting Article 3 of the Constitution of Uganda, Otto says it’s a very specific article. “…if a group of people who conspire to either amend or to overthrow or to abrogate the Constitution commits treason.”
“If you have conspired against the general Will of the people you have already committed treason and NRM has been abusing the Constitution frequently and yet the Constitution does not allow them to do so.”
In other words, whatever they do is very unconstitutional – the former MP asserts.
Asked if his current role at NDC won’t affect his demanding role with UPC, the Secretary-General (SG) of Peter Walubiri faction answers, “It doesn’t because first of all am a citizen of Uganda who enjoys my fundamental rights and freedom of association, engagement with any organization and principles of democracy doesn’t stop me from doing that…”
“Although, although, I think I may have to… this year 2022 unlike the previous year 2021, am going to concentrate a lot on this National Democratic Council and the UPC previous government is not going to be my focus anymore.”
The retiring SG says he does not want to be part of the (UPC) movement he was not part of right from the formation, vowing to give NDC “his whole” going forward.
“Literally, am not giving my full heart to UPC activities as I used to do. Am not going to spend my time defending UPC past records,” Otto answered when pressed to clarify if it’s over with the Congress rattles.
“Anything that affects me as a UPC member which I haven’t relinquished I will defend.”
Walubiri, Otto’s boss could not respond to our request for comment on his aide’s decision to partly quit.