The Uganda People’s Congress-UPC party faction under Lira Municipality Member of Parliament, Jimmy Akena has opted out of the 2021 presidential race.
The party spokesperson Sharon Arach Oyat announced the decision at their weekly press briefing at Uganda House on Wednesday morning.
She explained that while their delegate’s conference held on August 1st, 2020 endorsed Akena as their presidential candidate for the 2021 polls, he declined to take up the challenge since he is still interested in running for a parliamentary seat.
Arach says that they are opting out of the presidential elections to focus on Local council, special interest group and all other elections where their members are involved.
Akena later told URN that running for presidency isn’t just a matter of enjoying five minutes of fame but the target should be to win the polls.
Dragged to court
Akena’s time at the helm of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has been dogged by court battles, and nearly a month into his second term, he has been slapped with another suit, reported Daily Monitor.
A section of UPC members allied to the Prof Edward Kakonge group are seeking to end his presidency, accusing him and the party’s electoral commission of contempt of court by convening a delegates conference where Mr Akena was elected president.
The application filed in the Court of Appeal on August 11 contends that the UPC delegates conference held on August 1 offends the court order issued on July 29.
The order followed complaints from the Kakonge faction and the pending disposal of an appeal filed in 2016.
Justices Elizabeth Musoke, Christopher Izama Madrama and Irene Mulyagonja stopped Mr Akena from holding the delegates conference.
Akena was also barred from accessing and using party finances.
According to the application, although Akena was present and consented to the order, he on August 1 convened a delegates conference in Wakiso and was elected unopposed under the watch of police.
In his acceptance speech, Akena scoffed at those he termed as detractors for trying to sabotage party operations saying he will not be deterred.
The petitioner also wants all activities and decisions made by Akena since the conference be declared null and void.
Sharon Oyat Arach, the spokesperson of the Akena-led faction, said she was not aware of the petition.
Akena’s court battles date back to when he was first elected party president in 2015.
The then chairperson of the party, the late Joseph Bbosa, petitioned court challenging Akena’s victory and High Court judge Yasin Nyanzi cancelled the election.
He was later reinstated, on appeal, by a 2016 temporary order by then the Court of Appeal Justice Stephen Kavuma pending disposal of the main appeal.