By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: The Court of Appeal has finally ruled and thrown out ex-Ugandan President late Milton Obote’s son Jimmy Akena out of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) leadership where he has been serving as the president.
The development comes after in 2015, the High Court declared that Akena is not the legitimate UPC president and consequently, threw him out of the office something that Akena together with the party’s electoral commission appealed against before the Court of Appeal.
It is in this regard that on Monday September 7, 2020, a panel of three Justices including Elizabeth Musoke, Christopher Izama Madrama and Irene Mulyagonja dustbined Akena’s appeal saying that it was baseless and not weighing to leave him with the party’s position.
The furious judges warned that it is wrong for Akena to continue carrying out duties of the party yet he is in office illegally since 2015 when the High Court kicked him out.
“It is now five years down the road and Hon.Akena continues to execute duties of the president of the party, albeit resulting from an illegal process which was quashed in 2015,” the judges ruled, adding that UPC’s credibility will continue to be soiled if its leadership is not brought into office in conformity with provisions of their constitution, Political Parties and Organisations Act and the Constitution of Uganda.
It’s worth noting that Akena is ousted from his father Apollo Milton Obote’s founded political (UPC) party which led Uganda to independence in 1962 from British colonial administration.
The party had dominated Ugandan politics from independence until 1971, when Milton Obote was overthrown by Idi Amin. The party returned to power under Obote in 1980 until he was overthrown again in 1985 by Tito Okello.
The history of the UPC is intertwined with the ethnic divide that has plagued Uganda since it was a British protectorate.
Obote was party leader until when he died in October 2005, although he had previously announced his intention to step down.
The party won nine out of 289 elected seats in the 2006 general election. In the presidential election of the same date, UPC candidate Miria Obote won 0.8 percent of the vote.
On 14 May 2010, the party elected Olara Otunu, a former United Nations under secretary-general for children and armed conflict, to lead the party. He replaced Obote’s widow Miria Obote.
Otunu’s main rival at the party elections was Milton Obote’s son Jimmy Akena, the Member of Parliament for Lira Municipality showing that the Obote family still cherishes the party that Obote created.
Otunu was later voted out by party members, hence leading to the rise of Jimmy Akena, son of the founding father of UPC. Akena became President of the Uganda People’s Congress on 2 July 2015.