Uganda Peoples Congress

Uganda Peoples Congress
National Secretariat
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
phone/Fax:+256-41-236748

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

PRESS RELEASE

Defying Olara Otunnu in defence of UPC

Yesterday the UPC party president Mr. Olara Otunnu made changes in the National Party Officials and dropped two people namely; the Party Secretary General Mr. John Odit and the Secretary for Policy and National Mobilization, Mr. David Pulkol.

On behalf of members of the National Council of UPC (the party organ that I personally chair), the National Party Officials and the entire membership of UPC I would like to categorically state that in our own assessment the party president's unilateral decision to fire John Odit and David Pulkol was done in bad faith and will, if left unopposed, undermine, divide and destroy the party.

Our decision to defy Mr. Otunnu on this matter is well thought out and derives its justification from the fact that the victims (Odit and Pulkol) and other leaders Otunnu may be targeting soon have, right from the February 2011 general elections, been the engine of progress within UPC.

In this period alone, under the wise and participatory leadership of Mr. John Odit, the party held its National Council in April after which grassroots elections for the party were held in western Uganda in June; a Party Strategic Plan for 2011-2016 developed in August and currently party structures are being established in Buganda. Funding has also been secured for women and youth conferences and for regional mobilization activities. The party with the support from our international partners is also in the final stages of procuring furniture, communication equipment and a printing machine for a UPC newsletter.

What is more astonishing is that the party president has chosen to sack Odit and Pulkol at a time when they are just returning from a field trip together with other party officials where regional meetings aimed at strengthening our party structures have been successfully held in Busoga, Bugisu, Bukedi, Sebei, Teso, Karamoja, Lango, Acholi and Westnile. Bunyoro, Toro, Ankole and Kigezi meetings cannot be stopped and must take place by 22nd December 2011 as scheduled. Likewise, the Buganda grassroots elections, which Otunnu has severally tried to block in vain, will continue undisturbed till we are sure the job is fully done.

We are equally surprised that instead of making deliberate efforts to solve party youth issues as raised in their petition last week the party president has, in addition to sacking those who would have helped him to handle this matter, decided to disown and dismember UPC youth. This is unacceptable to us because it sets this party on a collision course and puts UPC out of tune with the basic reality that any party interested in taking power would want to maintain a vibrant youth wing.

Aware that Otunnu has since his election as party president been a man of mixed signals, secrecy and clandestine movements we would also like to use this occasion to disassociate ourselves from his activities for the sake of building, a reliable, dependable, transparent and law abiding party. As people who have worked with Mr. Otunnu we would like to painfully state, especially for the benefit of all party members, that Mr. Otunnu has never liked and does not love UPC. This could possibly explain why he forgot to vote for himself moreover after using 100% of all the available party funds then for his presidential campaigns alone.

We have thus chosen to stand in and defend the party at this critical moment. We have agreed that Mr. John Odit and Mr. David Pulkol keep in their offices as we all wait for the next party National Council meeting in January next year to resolve pending petitions and grievances. In the same spirit all party activities and programs that are already ongoing will continue uninterrupted to enable various implementers to make appropriate reports at the end of each program. We therefore implore all UPC members, party leaders and party funders to ignore Mr. Otunnu's latest decision, keep united and to maintain the spirit and principles of the party without fear or favor.

Read out to the press by,

Maj (rtd) Edward Rurangaranga
National Chairman UPC 0701347235

at Christ the King 11.am to noon