UPC Storm: Police Crush Rurangaranga Coup
Heavily armed police personnel Wednesday blocked a group of UPC leaders, which last week announced the takeover of Uganda House, from accessing the party’s headquarters.
Led by sacked party Chairman Maj. Rurangaranga, the officials were warned of possible arrest if they proceeded to party’s offices.
Rurangaranga later told press that Otunnu is very tribalistic, a reason his cabinet is dominated by northerners.
He further stated that his group had called a delegates conference which will sit on May 27 to remove Otunnu from Presidency.
The latest development underlines the worsening political turmoil in the party.
The struggle for power among officials has since polarized party structures with observers fearing UPC could collapse before the end of the year.
Rurangaranga says they have already mobilized enough signatures from party delegates to overthrow Otunnu.
However, Otunnu’s aides say the signatures were forged and resolutions of what they termed as an “illegal delegates’ conference” would be null and void.
“The delegates conference will be held whether Otunnu likes it or not,” warned Rurangaranga.
Last Wednesday, UPC National Executive Committee members led by Maj. George Rurangaranga, Jimmy Akena, Krispus Ayena Odongo and Patrick Mwondho stormed the party’s head quarters, claiming takeover of the political organization leadership.
Chimp political Corps said that was a coup considering that party president Ambassador Olara Otunu was away in Dar el Salaam, Tanzania, attending the Common Wealth Parliamentary Meeting.
Rurangaranga said they were in “exile and are now returning home.”
He said after noticing the party offices were in the hands of junior staff and cleaners instead of vibrant party leaders, his group decided to take over.
Rurangaranga said they would not leave until Otunnu summoned a delegates’ conference which many say it aimed at overthrowing the party President.
Rurangaranga’s team made the revelations after storming a weekly press conference which was being addressed by Lucimah Okello.
“As elected leaders of UPC, we live by the will of the people who elected us. Today we have come to fulfill one of those duties to ask the party president to respect the party constitution and will of members expressed through the petition to call for a special delegates’ conference,” said Rurangaranga.
“It will be remembered that on January 13 2012 after the party president expressed that there had arisen very disturbing matters in the party, the national chairman called a meeting of the national council at the Oasis restaurant at Lugogo indoor stadium,” he added.
“At that meeting, members resolved among other things to call upon the party president to call a delegates conference. Failing of which of the members of the delegates conference would call the same by way of petition as required under article 13.3 of the UPC Constitution.”
Rurangaranga, who was recently sacked by Otunnu, said when this resolution was communicated to him, the party leader declined to call the conference.
Consequently, he said, members embarked on a rigorous task of collecting signatures of more than a half of the members of the delegates’ conference
“When the signatures of more than 800 out of 1005 members were collected on April 5, a petition calling on Otunnu to call a special delegates conference within one week was properly served to the president at his office on Uganda House.”
Unfortunately, to date, Otunnu has not complied with the mandatory duty to call the delegates conference, according to Rurangaranga.
“It is therefore our duty to give Otunnu to call the conference on May 27. In the event that he still refuses, it then falls upon the collective shoulders of the party leaders to give notice today that the date of the special delegates’ conference has been fixed for May 27 at a venue to be announced later,” threatened Rurangaranga.
Maj. Rurangaranga urged party members and supporters that since he was one of the founders of the party, he is capable of running all the affairs of the party and besides Otunnu, there are still other credible members who can assume the position of the party president.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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