Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) President Jimmy James has rubbished yesterday’s court order that nullified his leadership and ordered for fresh elections to be conducted.
This follows court’s unanimous decision which held that UPC has never held lawful elections since 2015 and Akena’s presidency isn’t by the right procedures and constitutional laws.
Addressing the press on September 8, 2020, Akena, who is barely a month into his new tenure, branded this decision as ‘non binding’ and ‘frivolous’.
“I wish to state clearly that the term in question in this court process is the term of 2015 to 2020. It has got absolutely nothing to do with the new term of 2020 to 2025. So, with that in mind, we are continuing with the process of rebuilding the Party,” he said.
Speaking today, he said that the subpoena issued by Justice Irene Mulyagonja was out of date considering the fact that the issues at hand stretch back to 2015 when Olara Otunnu was at the helm.
“In conclusion, the Court of Appeal Judgment has been therefore overtaken by events. The new leadership has already completed the processes of establishing itself within the law,” Akena intimated.
“This matter began even before I assumed office where the late Joseph Bossa actually sued his president Olara Otunnu, who in turn did not enter any defense on behalf of the Party,” he stated further.
While the case had been brought against Otunnu who was then party head, Akena explained that like any responsible leader, he tendered in the Party’s defense though he was not party.
All of a sudden, Akena stated, he was surprised when one of the supposed defendants turned around and swore an affidavit in favor of plaintiffs as a way of overturning his conspicuous and legitimate leadership.
“After putting in a defense on behalf of the UPC and the late Edward Segannyi on behalf of the UPC Electoral Commission, Olara Otunnu swore an affidavit in support of his preferred candidate, Joseph Bossa so that they could have another opportunity to impose leadership on the UPC,” Akena pointed out.
Despite these hullabaloos, Akena argued that there was no basis courts would nullify his previous tenure when sometime back then had guided otherwise.
“The Nyanzi Ruling was delivered in December 2015, whereby we appealed the Ruling and secured a stay of execution and an Interim order which was maintained by the Justices of the Court of Appeal on 29th July 2020 giving authority to continue running the affairs of the Party until the final disposal of the case,” Akena added.
Bearing this in mind, Akena said that as a Party, they are not in any way shaken by this ruling and shall go with preparing for the next elections.
“As such, we will continue with the mandate of the Uganda People’s Congress members who expressed interest in due processes right from the District Conferences of 16th to 26th July and concluded by the Delegates Conference of August 1, 2020,” Akena chest thumped.
Much as it remains to be seen whether the said delegate’s conference was held according to the law, the Party President says everything was followed to the latter.
“The order arrived here on the 3rd of August; the delegate’s conference had taken place on the 1st of August. So by the time we received the order, it was after the event,” he pointed out.
Mandate of Akena’s previous leadership
After unsuccessfully running for office in 2010, Akena finally scooped UPC presidency after beating nine of his opponents who included former External Security Organization Director General (DG) David Pulkol, hands down.
Party documents indicate that out of a total of 112 districts, Akena was endorsed by 37 districts; Joseph Bossa (deceased) came with 11 districts while Pulkol was endorsed by 12 electoral areas.
The likes of David Nyote, Julius Ochen and Benson Obua Ogwal garnered a combined vote of fourteen districts while Dan Okello and Sam Musamali went empty handed.
This time round, he sailed through unopposed after his competitors who included Beatrice Amaro, Tom Omino and Dennis Enap failed to meet requirements.
Fast forward, he promised to come to terms with dissenters as long as this does not affect members who have already sailed through Party Primaries.
“If somebody comes up wishing to stand in opposition for instance if someone wants to stand in Kamuli municipality, I will do everything possible to give that person a flag,” Akena promised.
“But in all other positions where we have already gone through primaries, it will really be unfair to those who have campaigned and gone through,” he concluded.
Asked to comment on the implication of this ruling, Electoral Commission (EC) Spokesperson Paul Bukenya asked this website to accord him time to study the ruling.
“I need to first find out from our legal desk because that information is of legal nature. Then I will respond,” Bukenya said in a telephone interview.