UPC’s former EALA hopefuls who lost the flag to Ebil bites party
Last Updated on: 1st October 2022, 06:57 pm
DP, unlike UPC, has an official working agreement with Museveni’s party and the fruits of the deal has seen DP candidate going to Arusha.
By Our Reporter
Kampala – Oct. 1, 2022: Since the twilight of September 29, 2022, a sombre mood has taken over the sixth floor; the headquarters of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party.
The unforeseen moods follow the fall of UPC’s Secretary General, Fred Ebil in his quest to fly to Arusha, Tanzania.
Ebil was among eight other compatriots ‘all expected to be elected to represent Uganda at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Tanzania. However, Ebil, also the former MP of Kole South, managed to get only 139 votes.
His fall has been attributed to many factors. These factors all point to the problematic journey the party is taking.
It is worth knowing that UPC which is one of the oldest political parties in the land has been efficacious from the time when its founding father, Dr Apollo Milton Obote left for exile.
Subsequently, when the founding father died in 2005, the party developed further political dilemmas: a battle for the presidency, and occupation of Uganda House, among other internal rows.
As of now, two factions exist: a faction led by Peter Walubiri occupies Mabirizi Complex on Kampala Road and that led by James Akena sits at Uganda House, Kampala Road.
Amidst a ruling by a top court quashing the UPC status quo, Akena still enjoys the backing of the ‘State’ and that of the Congress members. Under his leadership, UPC has some Members of Parliament in the August House.
For Walubiri, his strategy is to deny Akena access to resources and to portray him as an illegal top leader UPC has had in recent years.
A source says, “If UPC had sent a representative to EALA, then Akena would have achieved a lot.” “The chance was fractional, and we all saw it a few days ago,” he added.
Ebil was given the UPC flag after winning the hearts of the top party leaders during the primary elections. His other contenders were left out in what some say “illegitimately”.
A day after Ebil’s fall, TND News spoke to Isaac Ojok Anok and Ogwang Calvin who all were in the race. First, Anok had this to say:
“I regret that UPC has not sent a candidate to EALA,” he said. To him, the processes that led to the election of Ebil were sham, because of the following reasons:
“One, candidates were nominated on February 8, 2022, and until July no official communication was made to any candidate to inform them of the processes in organizing the primary elections.”
“Two, when we were nominated on February 8, we knew we had nine voters. But to our surprise and without explanation, another voter [MP Ocen Akalo] was introduced.”
Anok also says candidates were nominated without vetting, indicating that all were supposed to be presented before the UPC Parliamentary Caucus with was contrary to the party’s and nation’s electoral laws and processes.
“During the so-called cabinet vetting, some members of the cabinet, for example, the assistant youth leader was very, very arrogant to some candidates and made us to know that he was promoting the candidature of one candidate.”
On more unfairness, Anok disclosed that before the UPC Caucus, all of them were given 3 minutes to do campaigns. He said, for Ebil, it was unique as he was given 13 minutes!
“In conclusion, along the process I made sure I combed Parliament and convinced MPs, and they were waiting to vote me.”
“When I was smuggled out of the UPC primary and Ebil questionably endorsed, it was clear that the last straw that would break the back of a camel was imminent. On September 29, my thought was confirmed.”
Calvin Ogwang, another Congressman who missed the flag, said: “I expected Ebil’s fall.” According to Ogwang, he told UPC earlier that there was information that the Parliamentarians were more convinced with some of them not necessarily the Secretary General of UPC.
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“To me, I find it more realistic for UPC to be more alert when it comes to EALA and another political contestation. The processes of EALA were handled right from its onset up to the time that they concluded the primaries, and we ended up having a candidate who would not be accepted by majority of the Parliamentarians.”
“The most unfortunate bit is that it was the UPC government under the able leadership of late Dr Apollo Milton Obote who contributed enormously to laying the foundation of the East Africa Community in 1967 and any matter related to East Africa can be discussed by any member related to UPC but this time round we have missed it.”
He also says in any case UPC, in the future should “lobby for more than two slots because that is their foundation, they laid the foundation”.
“What matters is the internal transparency and teamwork within the party must be promoted at all costs and the time is now for the UPC to address such gaps,” said Ogwang.
Ebil has attributed his fall to the NRM party, calling it “a sabotage”. DP, unlike UPC, has an official working agreement with Museveni’s party and the fruits of the deal has seen DP candidate going to Arusha.