Akena on Ditching Presidential Race: I’m Not Interested in ‘Building Castles in the Sky’

Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) President, Jimmy James Akena has today explained the reason as to why he is not running for Uganda’s Presidency in the 2021 polls.

Addressing journalists on Thursday in Kampala, Akena stated that it would have been foolhardy to invest the Party’s scarce resources in running for a position where they stand no chance.

“Knowing the situation with what’s going on within the UPC and also having a clear idea of what is happening within the politics of Uganda, I think that at this stage it would be like drawing a castle in the sky,” Akena defended his move.

“At this moment, I feel it will be wrongly putting out resources where we are unlikely to derive good results,” he stated.

As such, Akena disclosed that they had shifted focus to garnering more Local Government and Parliamentary seats in the forthcoming 2021 General Election.

“I have put and redoubled my efforts to support and campaign for UPC Candidates at all levels. I value everybody who has picked up a party flag. At this election, I am preparing to contest for Lira City East. And this is to continue the fight to rebuild the Party,” he added.

Furthermore, he said that this was a deliberate strategy geared at revitalizing UPC structures and the Opposition at large taking lessons from the failure to block the Age Limit in 2017.

“Effectively we (the Opposition) needed 150 votes to block it, at the end of the day, we got 90 or 100 which was nowhere near sufficient. I am not interested in building castles in the sky,” Akena retorted.


According to a communique issued on Thursday, UPC is in the final stages of identifying its flag bearers at various levels.

Party Primaries for Municipality Mayors, Division Mayors and Councilors are ongoing while those for MPs, Local Council Five (LC 5), City Mayors are scheduled to take place between September 5 to 26, 2020.

In the same vein, the deadline of picking nomination forms has been brought forward to September 11, 2020, to enable the Party’s Electoral Commission (EC) prepare adequately.

If this comes to pass, it will be the second time UPC is failing to produce a presidential candidate since Olara Otunnu’s unsuccessful bid in 2011.


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