By Andrew Irumba
Aruu: As the 2021 general elections loom nearer, several politicians are shifting goal posts by switching from one party to another, with the hope of winning the position they will be contesting for.
The latest defector is Aruu South county Member of Parliament Samuel Odonga Otto, who has since officially quit the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party and joined a new political organization known as the Uganda Economic Party (UEP).
While announcing this much anticipated, Odonga Otto tweeted thus on Friday evening; “The UGANDA ECONOMIC PARTY(UEP) held it’s delegates conference today and I was elected the Party’s Secretary General. All documents were tendered to the EC. UEP advocates for “economic rights” of all Ugandans. United we stand.”
Odonga now joins several other legislators who have quit the FDC to join other parties, among them Gerald Karuhanga, Kassiano Wadri, Paul Mwiiru and others who joined Rtd. Gen. Mugisha Muntu’s Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party, while others joined MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP)/ People Power alliance.
With its offices located at Plot 14 William Street, Kirumira Towers, 7, UEP is currently led by James Wantetena.
However, it is not yet clear whether the Party will front a presidential candidate in the forthcoming general elections and whether or not they will field candidates for MP seats.
However, what is clear is that Odonga fell out with the leaders of FDC several years back after accusing some of the party stalwarts of sidelining him whenever it came to high ranking appointments in the Party, yet he had sacrificed a lot for the FDC.
Odonga announced his quitting FDC during a thanksgiving service after surviving a road accident at Katugo, Nakasongola on December 28, 2018 while driving from Gulu to Kampala. Monsignor Matthew Odong, the vicar general of Gulu Archdiocese, presided over the prayers held in the Mayor’s Gardens in Pader town council.
Otto said then; “Many people have not yet reached the level where they see Opposition as those that check the ruling government when it is not doing enough for the people. My being in FDC was blocking me from many opportunities.”
He added that he was finding it difficult to support candidates from other political parties and did want to be bound by collective responsibility, but wanted to make decisions for his people.
Otto, however, declared that during the 2021 polls he would support and campaign for any candidate who is not from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, saying he promised his father (now deceased) that he would never work with President Yoweri Museveni.
The legislator noted that in case any other NRM person replaces Museveni, he would not be locked out because he would no longer be in FDC party and would give him the opportunity to move step ahead. He advised politicians from the Acholi sub-region to style up and position themselves so as to take advantage of the change that is definitely coming.