Obote Foundation to Blame for UPC Woes

UPC Chairman Lawrence Okae during the National Council Meeting recently

Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda on Saturday 19th December 2015 led a high level Government delegation to Mbale to resolve land disputes between the people bordering Mt Elgon National Park and Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The meeting followed a directive by President Yoweri Museveni for the dispute to be resolved once and for all.

The problem arose out of a long standing dispute over the demarcation of the boundaries of the National Park, web with UWA saying sections of people have encroached and settled in protected areas.

The meeting which was attended by leaders from affected districts, medications was also addressed by Lands and Housing Minister Daudi Migereko, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Muluri Mukasa, Minister of Tourism, Maria Mutagamba, State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru, State Minister for Environment Flavia Munaaba and State Minister for Trade, David Wakikona as well as several local area Members of Parliament. The

To confirm a lasting demarcation of National Park boundaries, the meeting agreed and tasked district Chairpersons of affected districts to immediately write a letter to the Ministers of Tourism and Lands, that supports the 1993 demarcations as the basis for defining credible boundaries.

On receipt of the letter, the Ministers of Lands and that of Tourism, will prepare a Cabinet paper to generate a draft Bill for discussion and enactment by Parliament.

The new law will guide the operations of Uganda Wildlife Authority.

“We need to move quickly to ensure that this chronic dispute between UWA and wanainchi is put to an end. The people and National Park need to peacefully co-exist,” Prime Ruhakana Rugunda said.
As a result of internal fighting, more about Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) one of the oldest party in the country has this time round failed to raise at least 50 candidates to stand as Members of Parliament for the 2016 general elections.

The party is currently represented by 9 Members of Parliament, most of whom come from the Lango Sub-region where it is strongest.

During the recently concluded nomination exercise carried out by the National Electoral Commission, the party managed to nominate only 35 legislators with no candidate in the capital Kampala. Insufficient funding is the immediate explanation from the party leadership.

Speaking to the UPC  Chairperson under Hon Jimmy Akena’s cabinet, Mr Lawrence Okae told us that the party was greatly disappointed by the Milton Obote Foundation (MOF) — the party’s biggest funder — which refused to release money to pay nomination fees for their selected aspirants.

“We had over 200 members that had expressed interest to stand as MPs but as you know after government exorbitantly hiked the nomination fees, many were unable to pay the required amount,” Okae lamented.

“We wrote a budget to MOF with hopes that they would help in clearing nomination fees but we received no response from them; we later advised our members to look around for money but most of them failed,” Okae explained.

It is believed that MOF has for long resisted the leadership of Jimmy Akena and has filed a number of court cases of criminal trespass against the group with the aim of pushing them out of the party headquarters on the 6th floor of Uganda House.

Jimmy Akena is the son of the party’s founding father Dr Milton Obote.

The foundation has the mandate to monitor and manage all properties and projects that were put up by the party in the past.

This leaves the party in a financial quagmire with little funds coming in from outside funders who are to date confused on the rightful party leadership that they ought to deal with.

Okae further blamed their rival, Dr. Olara Otunnu for playing delaying tactics through continued court cases with the aim of failing the party leadership from successfully operating.

“We believe Otunnu never prepared the party; if there was a smooth transition, it would have given us an opportunity to prepare our candidates for the different positions.”

“We have hope that we shall raise our membership in parliament from 9 members to at least 25 members from the different regions in the country; are now looking at building a strong financial base for the party.”

Different opposition parties managed to pay nomination fees for all its candidates and this helped them to raise a reasonable numbers to face the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Democratic Party Managed to nominate a total of 110 candidates for the parliamentary seat while FDC the leading opposition party nominated 271 candidates.


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