Uganda Peoples Congress supporters in Mt Elgon region have disassociated themselves from the party and rejected Mr Olara Otunnu as its president.
During a press conference in Mbale District on Thursday, party supporters accused Mr Otunnu of being a “political tourist” who was not ready to drive UPC to presidency.
The district UPC chairperson, Mr Abas Wetaka, said Mr Otunnu belittled the party’s electoral commission by ordering grassroots elections without its consent and party members.
“He has not called for a national council meeting for the last two years and the action breaches articles 1, 2 and 3 of the party constitution which guarantees the meeting of the National Council at least once a year,” Mr Wetaka said.
However, in a telephone interview yesterday, Mr Okello Lucima, the UPC spokesperson, said Mr Wetaka was a “renegade” who defected to NRM and lacks the legitimacy to comment on UPC matters.
“Wetaka crossed to the NRM in 2011. How can he convene a meeting to speak on behalf of UPC?” Mr Lucima asked.
“The National Council meeting was held in 2011 and the only time it has not been held was in 2012 and 2013 because of the financial aspect and because we are trying to operationalise the new constitution,” he added.
The Sironko District UPC chairperson, Mr Mike Kasoola, accused the party president of failing to organise and operationalise party structures.
“In April 2011, Mr Otunnu was tasked ...to review how best the party can increase participation of women and youth in party activities and report back to the National Council and he has failed. We cant belong to UPC as long as he remains president,” Mr Kasoola said.
But Mr Lucima denied the allegations saying: “We are registering members of all party structures. Once that process is over, we will conduct elections from the village level.”