As Jimmy Akena’s faction of the Uganda People’s Congress prepares to enter into an alliance with the ruling NRM, a key member of the Olara Otunnu faction swears President Museveni will not manage to subsume the divided opposition party.
UPC has two parallel administrations, one led by Akena, the son of former Ugandan president Milton Obote, and the other by former UN undersecretary general Olara Otunnu. Akena’s faction is working on formalizing an alliance to join the Museveni government, with his wife Betty Amongi already appointed a minister.
But constitutional lawyer Peter Walubiri, a member of Otunnu’s executive, told CBS radio on Friday that Museveni’s appointment of UPC members to cabinet is a sign that Akena’s leadership is compromised.
“Museveni gave Akena money and soldiers and they hijacked the electoral process. He wants to take over our party but he will not succeed,” Walubiri told CBS’s Nze Nga Bwe Ndaba (The way I see it) show.
Walubiri rejected claims that UPC stood to benefit from the appointment of Oyam South MP Betty Amongi and former Kole Woman MP Ruth Achieng (whose name Museveni has since withdrawn). He claimed that both MPs were already in bed with the ruling party anyway. Walubiri said UPC members supporting the Museveni-Akena pact were driven by selfish motives.
“We [UPC] have not got any ministers, people can leave the party anytime they want and those too have left. We are going to expel them,” Walubiri said. “Everyone supporting Akena is no longer UPC, but Movement. Those that want to eat are the ones going to Museveni.”
The UPC strongman further emphasised that Akena is not the party president as alleged by media reports. He said that court annulled Akena’s leadership in 2015.
“Justice Musota decided that Otunnu is still president until fresh elections are held, Akena has never been UPC president. They hijacked the electoral process,” Walubiri said.
Amongi and Achieng were appointed earlier this month as ministers in Musevenis’ cabinet. Last Tuesday, Akena’s faction approved their appointment, attracting criticism from the Otunnu faction.