Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Court of Appeal has halted the Uganda People’s Congress-UPC delegates conference scheduled for August 1, 2020 pending the disposal of an appeal challenging Jimmy Akena’s leadership as party president.
The three member panel of Court of Appeal justices issued the orders after lawyers representing the Peter Walubiri UPC led faction led by Julius Galisonga told court that failure to halt the conference would cause them irreparable damage.
They argued that Akena whose leadership is being challenged would preside over the delegate’s conference which is expected to elect the next UPC leader for a five year term.
Akena’s lawyer Joseph Kyazze didn’t object to the application.
Accordingly, the Court of Appeal Judges including Elizabeth Musoke, Christopher Izama Madrama and Irene Mulyagonja halted the delegate’s conference.
The justices also stopped Akena from withdrawing any money from the party’s accounts in Orient and Housing Finance Banks pending the determination of the main appeal.
However, Kyazze opposed the order stopping his client from withdrawing money from Housing Finance Bank arguing that the party employees will suffer because that is where their salary comes from.
The justices stood their ground saying they had given the parties sufficient time in the morning to harmonize on several issues but they failed to comprise on the issue of blocking Akena from accessing the bank accounts.
The judges replaced the late Bossa with Professor Edward Kakonge as the petitioner in the suit. Kakonge welcomed the decision.
The justices directed the parties to file written submissions before the end of August for the main suit, saying the judgment will be issued on notice.
The petitioner’s lawyer, Julius Galisonga, said the suspension of the delegate’s conference doesn’t in any way affect the 2020 election roadmap issued by Electoral Commission.
Details of the suit
Trouble for Akena started in 2015 when the late Dr. Joseph Bossa, the then UPC Vice President ran to court to challenge Akena’s leadership on grounds that the UPC party Electoral Commission didn’t have the mandate to declare him UPC president.
He argued that the delegate’s conference, which led to the purported election of Akena wasn’t constituted properly.
In his judgment, Yasin Nyanzi concurred with the deceased and declared Akena’s leadership illegal.
Nyanzi restrained Akena against running any party activities including financial transactions and ordered fresh polls.
Akena petitioned the Appellant court in December 2016 challenging the high court order and obtained an interim court order issued by the former Deputy Chief Justice, Steven Kavuma which has kept him in office up to now.