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Otunnu ‘invited’ to UPC National Council meeting

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Invited.Former UPC leader Olara Otunnu.
Invited.Former UPC leader Olara Otunnu.

Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) has invited former party president Olara Otunnu to attend the National Council meeting that commences tomorrow.

While addressing journalists in Kampala today, ‘new party spokesperson’ Mr. Michael Osinde Orach said Otunnu and his cabinet were invited to discuss dialogue and reconciliation.

Otunnu and UPC president-elect Jimmy Akena are currently locked in a battle over who leads the party, but Osinde said Otunnu would only ‘attend as an observer’ and that he would not participate in any other party activities.

“Not all conflicts are negative, some are positive, that’s what why we want him to be around,” Mr Osinde said, adding that Otunnu’s presence would be a big step towards dialogue. “We need their advice concerning reconciliation.”

However, commenting on the matter ‘former party spokesperson’ Okello Lucima said there was no leadership change in UPC and denied Otunnu had received any invitation. He also said that whatever was discussed wasn’t in the name of the UPC; “it will be in the UPC of Museveni”.

“Otunnu can’t be invited to an organ which he is supposed to call,” Lucima said adding Otunnu hadn’t handed over to anyone.

Commenting about UPC’s position on The Democratic Alliance (TDA), Mr. Osinde said that the party’s stand will be decided by the National Council that sits from August 13 to 15 at Jokas Hotel Bweyogerere.

“We were very clear in the meeting; we are conscious on what members will say and we don’t want to repeat any mistake. TDA is good but the National Council will agree or disagree on that,” he said.

He disclosed that the party’s cabinet had resolved in its first meeting which sat on July 22 to reshuffle members representing UPC in the Interparty Organization for Dialogue(IPOD).

Those dropped include former party spokesperson Mr Okello Lucima, Fr Jacinto Ogwal and Mr Issa Otto.

“IPOD is about party policy and you cannot represent a party when it does not know the views you are going to present,” said Osinde, and advised the three members to attend the NC where more discussions about the matter will be held.

“We wish to urge them to stop and we call upon all donors to take note of this,” he warned.

But Lucima took exception to Osinde’s assertions, saying he was not aware of any changes made in respect to UPC’s representation to IPOD.

“I don’t know about that because it is not Osinde that chose me,” Lucima said.

Meanwhile, Higenyi Hamba, the party’s Publicity Secretary, urged the Council to pay tribute to fallen UPC leaders during the meeting.

 

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