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By Andrew Baba

The differences in one of the oldest political parties in the country the Uganda Peoples’ Congress is set to escalate over their invitation to the NRM function for Friday at Namboole stadium. While appearing on the UBC TV on Wednesday evening, the NRM Secretary Gen Rt. Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba informed the viewers that the party had sent invitations to the different political parties that subscribe to the IPOD of which the UPC is a member.

But while speaking to the UPC Secretary General Mr. Ebil Fred, he confirmed the invitation and also stressed that there was no reason as to why they wouldn’t attend the function. Asked whether UPC would still go to Namboole even if all the other political parties invited choose to abscond in protest, the flamboyant Party executive responded by saying they don’t lead the party according to how others view it but rather follow a party ideology that has been in place for decades. That unlike many capitalistic political parties in Uganda, the UPC was formed on a socialist ideology which emphasizes inclusiveness.

Ebil wondered why they wouldn’t honor the invite by the NRM yet when they were invited to Namboole by the FDC in November 2017 for their party presidential election, they attended and no one complained. He described this invite as a very good gesture from the NRM government and also emphasized that peaceful coexistence was all that was needed for our country to move ahead.

However, Peter Walubiri (a leading ideologue in UPC but who subscribes to the anti-Akena faction which Ebil serves) described the words of Ebil as regrettable. Walubiri (renowned for his extreme loyalty to late Apollo Milton Obote) completely sees no reason as to why the UPC should get involved in the activities of the NRM a party they should only be fighting to unseat from power. He further says that he is not surprised the Akena administration chooses to attend the event which most political parties are most likely to turn down. Asked whether his views don’t contradict the official party position, the vocal advocate said he does not recognize the Akena administration owing to the way he took office.

Walubiri says that Akena and his administration is just an annex of Museveni NRM and that it’s ridiculous calling their decisions the official party position. When former Party President Dr. Olara Otunu went into early retirement in 2016, late Joseph Bbosa took over the Presidency so as to pave way for a delegates’ conference that would elect a new party president. This however led to protracted legal battles that split the party into two. One faction fallowed Akena while the other sided with late Bbosa and Walubiri was appointed the Bbosa faction’s vice president in January 2018. With the death of Mr. Bbosa, Walubiri remains an important leader of the anti-Akena faction of the UPC. The divergence in the opinions of Walubiri and Ebil therefore come as no surprise owing to the long history of ideological disagreement. It is only the extent of damage that the present altercation will cause to the already fragile relationship within the party. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp the writer on 0708595732).



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