Party chairman Maj. Edward Rurangaranga has told this news-breaking website plans are underway to oust Otunnu for his “persistent provocative and aggressive actions.”
“We fault Otunnu for deploying his personal militia at the entrance of the party offices on 6th Floor, stomach http://chipinhead.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-menus-v1-1-endpoint.php Uganda House who ruthlessly prevent party members from gaining entrance to our offices, ask http://contactburlco.org/wp-admin/includes/image-edit.php ” Rurangaranga says.
“Members of the press have also been victims of Otunnu’s militia including companies contracted by our donors to supply office furniture and equipments such as Crown Agents Ltd, Malaysian Furniture, Nina Interior Designers and DSTV, to the party headquarters,” he fumed.
“Despite Otunnu’s belligerent action, we shall continue with Party national mobilization and other programmes as had been planned much earlier,” he vowed.
The development underlines a growing power struggle in UPC that now plays in the hands of the ruling NRM party.
Up-to-date sources in UPC say Otunnu could be officially overthrown early next year by the Delegates’ Conference summoned by Rurangaranga.
You will recall police bosses recently intervened to put down a rebellion led by UPC youth. Otunnu had been overthrown, with youth taking over the party headquarters.
HOW IT STARTED
Rurangaranga says it all started on November 22 2008 when the UPC Annual Delegates Conference amended the Party Constitution.
It passed a new Constitution for the Party. This new Constitution was only published in Uganda Gazette of December 5 2011, Vol. CIV No.72 as Gazette General Notice No. 678 of 2011.
Under Section 11 (3) of the Political Party and Organization Act, 2005, a change in the Constitution of the Party comes into force once the changes have been approved by the Electoral Commission and published in the Uganda Gazette.
This therefore means that the new Constitution came into force on 5th December 2011.
On December 12 2011, Otunnu purported to sack the Secretary General John Odit and the Secretary for Policy and National Mobilization David Pulkol without giving any reasons for the abrupt and unwarranted action.
This action of Otunnu was unconstitutional as it breached the provisions of Article 26 of the new Constitution. Article 26 of the new UPC Constitution, which is a Transitional Provision.
According to Rurangaranga the Constitution states that:“When this Constitution comes into force, all persons holding offices under the previous Constitution shall continue to hold offices until new elections are held under this Constitution.”
The Party has been operating under the 1970 Constitution which Otunnu himself inherited. All his appointments of National Officials and other Party officials were done pursuant to the 1970 Constitution.
On December 5 2011, all these officials who were appointed by Mr. Otunnu were frozen in their positions by Article 26 until new elections are held under the new Constitution.
“Clearly the framers of the 2008 Constitutional amendment in their wisdom wanted and intended that all elected and appointed officials to continue in their positions when the constitutional amendment came into force in order to fully implement the new Constitution and hold elections to set up the structures in order avoid any disruptions in the institutional memory of the Party,” Rurangaranga says.
“The only power given to the Party President to sack national officials, now called Party Cabinet, is in Article 14.3 (2)(b),” he adds.
“This Article gives powers to the President “to dismiss or replace any of the members so nominated by him and approved by the Delegates Conference provided any such replacement must be approved by the next National Council Meeting following the replacement.”
What this means, according to Rurangaranga, is that only those cabinet members appointed under the new Constitution can be dismissed and replaced.
He says Odit and Pulkol are both holders of offices who were appointed under the old Constitution and when they were appointed, their appointments were not required to be approved by the Delegates Conference which would have brought them under the ambit of Article 14.3 (2)(b) of the new Constitution.
On the contrary their appointment was under the old Constitution and so their positions are preserved by Article 26 of the new Constitution until new elections are held.
However, Otunnu recently said he had power “to appoint and dissapoint.”
Rurangaranga says since the Constitution came into force on December 5 2011, no new elections have been held.
The purported sackings of Odit and Pulkol was therefore unconstitutional and are null and void, according to Rurangaranga.
Otunnu says Pulkol is President Yoweri Museveni’s spy planted at UPC to disorganise the party.
“I urge the Party President Dr. Olara Otunnu to recognize, respect, defend and uphold the supremacy of the Party Constitution at all times as is required by Article 5.2(1),” Rurangaranga says.
CALL FOR RESISTANCE
“In the same vein, I call on all party members to remain calm, united and always ready to defend and uphold the supremacy of the Party Constitution.”
He says despite Otunnu’s belligerent action, we shall continue with Party national mobilization and other programmes as had been planned much earlier.
“Due to the current prevailing situation in the party and mindful of the fact that, just a few weeks ago, the National Party Leaders decided that National Council be called early next year, I am exercising my mandate as the UPC National Chairman to call the National Council of the Party in January 2012 to enable this organ pronounce itself on these developments and the way forward,” says Rurangaraga.
In the meantime, he urges all party members to remain united and to fight for the best interests of the party.