Kampala-The High Court has today dismissed a case in which Uganda Peoples’ Congress president Olara Otunnu was sued over his legitimacy to lead the party.
The applicants claimed Otunnu didn’t have the authority to execute party activities since his term as party president had expired in early March this year.
Otunnu had been sued together with UPC Secretary General, Fr. Jacinto Ogwal by Oyam South legislature Betty Amongi and her Kole county counterpart Fred Ebil.
But in his ruling Civil Division judge, Justice Steven Musota noted that according to the UPC Constitution Otunnu and his cabinet is still in office legally.
Citing Article.26.2 of the UPC Constitution the judge said, “When this Constitution comes into force, the President elected under the old Constitution serves for a term of seven (7) years and shall continue to hold that office for term not exceeding five (5) years from the time of his/her election.”
The UPC legal advisor Mr. Charles Dalton Opwonya told journalists at a press conference held at the party headquarters that Justice Musota had agreed to most of the issues raised by the respondents.
Speaking cynically Counsel Opwonya said that MPs Amongi and Ebil wanted to calculate every minute of Otunnu’s time as UPC president, something he said, wasn’t applicable.
“Otunnu was mandated to do this and his cabinet, what they wanted is unrealistic, they wanted to do it on the dot,” Mr. Opwonya said.
He also noted that all the party’s organs were functioning properly and there was no reason for running to Court.
“Absurdity is what they are standing onto which the judge could not do,” Counsel Opwonya said adding: “there was already an alternative; you don’t go to Court when there’s an alternative.”
UPC spokesperson Mr. Okello Lucima termed the dismissal of the case as a victory for the UPC supporters. He further said that the two members that ran to court are free to participate in the party’s activities. “They are still UPC members, they did not go anywhere,” Lucima said.
Amongi and Ebil ran to Court early this year seeking an injunction to stop all UPC activities on grounds that the party president and his cabinet no longer had powers to run party activities since their term in office expired. Otunnu’s term as president ended on March 13, before the party’s national council met.

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