Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 08:37 pm
Kampala | Peter Walubiri has spoken for the first time on UPC politics after the recent Supreme Court ruling quashed the presidency of Jimmy Akena.
The UPC leader said they will use all legal means to ensure Akena, also the Lira City East MP, is booted out of the party leadership.
“We are ready to talk, to unite and mobilise UPC party members now that the leadership crisis is over,” Walubiri said on Thursday.
“In 2015, a grave injustice was occasioned to UPC when the Constitutional governance of the party was disrupted. During the course of tallying results of the outcome of party presidential nominations, the process was violently disrupted leading to the self-declaration of James Micheal Akena as President of the party.
“The legitimate president of the party then, Amb Olara Otunu was violently driven out of the offices of the party on 6th floor, Uganda House and instead, James Michael Akena under armed State protection has continued to occupy the party headquarters,” recalled Walubiri.
After Akena took over the UPC leadership “unconstitutionally and violently” in 2015 as described by Walubiri who says he has been the legitimate President of the party, the takeover was challenged in the High Court.
On December 11, 2015, Justice Yasin Nyanzi determined the suit (Miscellaneous Cause No. 0086 of 2015) and declared that the election of James Akena as UPC President was “illegal, void and of no legal effect” for violating the UPC Constitution.
The Court ordered fresh elections. However, in 2016, Akena filed for a Civil Appeal against the judgement delivered by Justice Nyanzi.
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“Because he was aware that his appeal had no merit, James Michael Akena did not bother to move the Court to fix the appeal for hearing. Instead, he obtained an interim order of stay of execution from Deputy Chief Justice Stephen Kavuma and he used this order to remain in office,” Walubiri added.
In 2020, Prof E. Kakonge moved the Court of Appeal to fix a hearing date. When it was fixed for July 29, 2020, Walubiri said Akena issued a notice for a delegates’ conference for August 1, 2020.
The purpose, he said, was to “elect a party President”. “His aim was to pre-empt the decision of the Court of Appeal.
During the hearing of the Appeal on July 29, 2020, Walubiri and his group informed the Court of Akena’s “pre-emptive attempts” and asked he be restrained.
After the August 1, 2020 delegates conference which elected him, on September 7, 2020, the Court of Appeal delivered its judgement with the three Justices unanimously dismissing Akena’s appeal.
The same Court ordered the party to conduct nominations and elect new party leaders.
“In accordance with the orders of the Court of Appeal, the President of the party then in office, set up an electoral commission which conducted elections. Four candidates were nominated namely Dr Dan Okello, Mr Joseph Ochieno, Dr Opul Dickson and Mr Peter Mukidi Walubiri.
Walubiri added: “On December 17, 2020, Mr Peter Mukidi Walubiri was declared the successful candidate by the party electoral commission. He took oath and subsequently appointed a cabinet that is running the affairs of the party.”
Among his team, Isaah Otto Amiza, the former Oyam South MP is the Secretary General.
Speaking of the recent Supreme Court ruling, Walubiri said Akena has been “gambling”, adding that the Lira City East MP has also “run out of options”.
“He (Akena) applied to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal against the injunction that stopped him from holding an illegal delegates conference. Again, he did not bother to have this application heard and determined since he knew it had no chance of success. It was eventually heard and dismissed on October 13, 2023.”
Waluburi now declares that his leadership is ready to heal the party and they are looking forward to party elections in early 2025, adding on Thursday that “all pretences by Mr Akena to be the President of UPC have no legal basis”.
“As legitimate leaders of the party, we shall continue to expose the illegality of Mr Akena’s actions. In particular, we shall take all lawful action to have Akena evicted from 6th Floor, Uganda House and to have him account for all party funds and resources abused since 2015.”
The Police, the electoral commission and parliament, bankers of the party, and citizens, according to Walubiri have to desist from any actions or omissions that will lend a hand to illegality, contempt of court, abuse of funds and wastage of UPC resources.
On Monday, Akena said his leadership would call for a party election, and afterwards branded the UPC party “his own child”. Read more from Akena here.