UGANDA: FRESH ROW ROCKS UPC AS OBOTE IN-LAW SWEARS IN AS MINISTER IN MUSEVENI’S CABINET

Akena

Hon. Jimmy Akena is Obote’s son who dines with President Museveni-the man who fought his father and later took over leadership in Uganda.

“Hon. Betty Amongi confirmed before the National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairperson and Members of Parliament (MPs) in a meeting held on June 17, 2016 at State House, Entebbe, that she had been working with President Museveni since 2011 and that the President had fully funded their campaigns for 2016 general elections to the tune of at least UGX1.8 billion ($534,760)”.

GULU-UGANDA: Fresh row has rocked Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) Party after the daughter-in-law of its’ founding President, Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, Ms. Betty Amongi, swears in as a minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Museveni’s National  Resistance Movement (NRM) cabinet. Amongi is a Member of Parliament belonging to opposition party, UPC, representing Oyam South. She is married to Obote’s son, Mr. Jimmy Akena (MP of Lira Municipality on UPC party ticket).

The row follows a consultative meeting convened by UPC Lango Party leaders and elders held on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 to denounce the “political trade between the Akena-Amongi group”, with President Museveni in the name of UPC. In a statement, which was signed by a party elder Johnson Engole as interim chairman, the leaders say the group dinning with Museveni has formally left UPC party.

“Hon. Betty Amongi confirmed before the National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairperson and Members of Parliament (MPs) in a meeting held on June 17, 2016 at State House, Entebbe, that she had been working with President Museveni since 2011 and that the President had fully funded their campaigns for 2016 general elections to the tune of at least UGX1.8 billion ($534,760)”, says the Statement, released to the media on Sunday, June26, 2016.

UPC Party Lango sub-regional chapter used to be fully behind Jimmy Akena’s faction of UPC and were opposed to the faction of the out-going UPC president Dr. Olara-Otunnu until this appointment of Amongi as a cabinet minister in Museveni’s government.

Museveni appointed three ministers from the opposition in his 81-strong cabinet; Ms. Betty Kamya (Kampala Capital City Authority from the Federal Alliance party), Ms. Betty Amongi (Lands, Housing and Urban Development from UPC party) and Ms. Florence Nakiwala-Kiyingi (as a State minister from the Democratic Party).

Dr. Olara-Otunnu is quoted by the local media to have said that Museveni wants to use those he appointed ministers from the opposition to destroy multi-party democracy in Uganda.

“They are his weapons of choice to destabilize UPC… This is not an alliance between UPC and Museveni but an alliance between masqueraders Jimmy Akena, Betty Amongi and Museveni… It is inconceivable that UPC would go to bed with Museveni. It hasn’t happened and it will not happen. Never”, Otunnu is quoted on social media, to have said.

UPC was just one, united political party before 2009 when Dr. Olara-Otunnu resigned from his high profile job with the United Nations and returned home to Uganda to try and lead the party. His decision to return home did not go well with the Obote’s family, who even blocked him from visiting the grave of Obote. The family accuses Dr. Olara-Otunnu of having masterminded the July 1985 coup by the Okellos, which sent them to exile for the second time.

The late Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, who died suddenly from a South African hospital on October 10, 2005, was succeeded by his widow, Ms. Miiria Kalule Obote as UPC president during the 2006 general elections. She was president of UPC for only one term (2005-2010) and resigned from leading the party after she lost that Presidential election to incumbent president, Yoweri Museveni. The bid to succeed her attracted her son, Mr. Jimmy Akena (MP, Lira Municipality), thereby risking turning UPC into a family party, and Dr. Olara-Otunnu. Ever since Dr. Otunnu was elected UPC President in 2010 and subsequently became UPC candidate in the 2011 presidential election, the two have not seen eye-to-eye. They now lead two parallel UPC factions.

“I can confirm that we are in talks whereby the core UPC minimum agenda that addresses key issues like health, education and agriculture will guide all engagements over the next five years. As UPC we firmly believe in the need for a peaceful transition that cannot exclude President Museveni and therefore any meaningful transition cannot exclude him and NRM from this transition”, says Akena to the local media. He forcefully installed himself as UPC president in 2015.

UPC Lango chapter, which sent nine members to the tenth parliament, wants to embark on “aggressive fresh registration and recruitment of genuine Party members with effect from Friday, July I, 2016” so as to isolate masqueraders.

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