Presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu alias Bobi Wine has come under fire for reportedly using wrong methods to take over as the leader of the newly founded National Unity Platform (NUP).
The petitioner, a one James Byamukama, queried the manner in which Kyagulanyi came to own the Party, arguing that the supposed delegates conference was attended by a bunch of flukes.
“The extraordinary delegates conference allegedly held on 14/7/2020 and attended by only 51 unverified members out of a delegate’s membership list of 400 delegates,” Byamukama stated.
He also pointed out that they are perplexed as to how their very own National Unity, Reconciliation and Development Party (NURP) came to metamorphose into NUP.
As such, Byabakama asked EC to promptly correct this gross illegality or else they shall tussle it out in court.
On his part, Bobi Wine accused Government of running a campaign to bring him down politically.
“They first tried to downplay us, but that did not work. The thousands of people, including leaders who have been flocking our offices to register have scared the hell out of them,” he responded.
“And now, because Kyagulanyi is Party President and they are seeing how much support we are receiving across the nation, they will use all sorts of people to file bogus cases,” said Bobi.
The development threatens to upend Bobi’s presidential ambitions.
Protests from members of NURP could trigger confusion in his People Power camp and keep away potential flag-bearers for various elective positions.
The development could also see Bobi dragged in a protracted legal battle over ownership of the party whose outcome remains unpredictable.
Bobi said this was not new considering the hurdles he faced when he tried to register ‘People Power’ as a Political Movement last year.
“When we tried to reserve the name “People Power” in 2019, we found that the regime had deployed its apologists to reserve the name so as to block us from registering a political party,’” he noted.
He also intimated that Government acted out of panic and this could be the reason as to why six EC officials were dismissed late last month.
“The day we filed papers at the Electoral Commission informing them of the new leadership of the National Unity Platform, President Museveni immediately sacked key people,” he pointed out.
“Including, Mr. Sam Rwakoojo the secretary and Mr Jotham Taremwa the spokesman. Their crime, how did all this happen under their watch?” Kyagulanyi stated further.
However, sources say EC officials were kicked out for refusing to give a contract for printing ballot papers and transmitting election results to Uganda Security Printing Company (USPC), a joint venture between German company Veridos and the state-owned Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC).
Nevertheless, Bobi also faces a war with UPC over the red colour he wants to use in NUP’s political symbols during the 2021 polls.
UPC has protested the move, saying they have used the red colour for decades.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday; UPC publicist Sharon Oyat said much as they don’t have a hand in this saga, the Electoral Commission is legally right to reprimand NUP.
“The Political Parties and Organizations Act is very clear and our position is that we have been using red since 1960 and we used that same red to give Ugandans independence. So that is the identity of the UPC,” said Oyat.