Uganda Peoples Congress
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
UPC CABINET POSITION ON CIRCULATING DOCUMENTS "PETITIONING" THE UPC PARTY PRESIDENT TO CALL A NATIONAL DELEGATES CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS HER REMOVAL FROM OFFICE.
(Embargoed for release at 11.00 am, 6th July, 2009)
- On 8th June, 2009 I carried out a reshuffle of the Party Cabinet. I applied powers vested in me by the Constitution and dropped some members of the Cabinet. Prominent members of the Cabinet that were left out from the Cabinet included Mr. Livingstone Okello Okello the Vice President of the Party, Mr Peter Walubiri, the Secretary General and Mr. Benson Obua- Ogwal the outgoing National Youth Leader.
- It was not unexpected that some of the affected persons and their supporters would be aggrieved by the result of the reshuffle. The Cabinet having been fully briefed of the reasons for the reshuffle is satisfied that I acted in good faith and has nothing personal against the persons involved.
- The Cabinet has noted with grave concern that some of the affected persons with grievances instead of channeling them to me, have resorted to negative publicity and disinformation to the detriment of the Party and its leadership. What has followed since has been a futile attempt to mobilize members of the National Council and members of the National Delegates Conference with the intention of removing me from office a few months to the Annual Delegates Conference at which I have openly promised to step-down from office and at a time when the Cabinet is carrying out programs for the establishment of Party branches with new elected officials.
- Documents have been circulated to collect signatures. Copies of these documents have been dumped at the Party Headquarters purporting to petition me to call the Delegates Conference.
- The Party Cabinet and I would want to make it clear to the Party members that under the UPC Constitution I as the Party President have the discretion to choose and reshuffle my Cabinet. I am also aware that the changes I made to the Cabinet is subject to approval by the National Council of the party. The Constitution however requires that I submit the names to "the next National Council meeting following the reshuffle." I will comply with that constitutional provision just as I have always respected all other provisions of the Party Constitution.
- On the 3 of July 2009 the Party Cabinet met and discussed a response to the "petitions." It came to the conclusion that there is no valid petition before me because of several reasons:
- Firstly I have incontrovertible evidence that some of the signatures on the circulating documents were forged. The persons who purportedly signed them have since disowned them making it clear they never signed the documents.
- Secondly nobody among those who authored the documents seems to be responsible for the documents. It is not even clear how the documents have reached the headquarters. I do not know whom in particular to contact regarding the petition.
- Thirdly many of the persons who signed the documents are not members of the National Council or the Delegates' Conference. Constitutionally they could not therefore be party to the petition.
- Fourthly the "petition "states no clear reason for the proposed motion.
- I did order a quick assessment of the facts surrounding the circulating documents. Information obtained show that some of the signatories to the documents were obtained based on disinformation deliberately designed by those who circulated the documents. The reasons that were advanced to convince members to sign the papers varied from region to region:
- In Buganda the people were told that I through my son had a design to chase away old members from the Party. This sold because most of the members of the Party in the region are elderly.
- In Western Uganda the members were told that I and my son had advanced arrangements to sell Uganda House to President Museveni for 27 Billion Shillings so there was need for quick action to stop the scheme.
- In Busoga the Party members were told I want to marginalize the Basoga in the Party by removing the former Secretary General Mr. Peter Walubiri.
- And in the north of the country the argument was the need to save the candidature of Mr. Olara Otunu because the reshuffle was a scheme to position Hon Jimmy Akena for the Party presidency.
- All these arguments were deliberate deceptions intended to woo Party members into signing these documents. Many who signed the papers have since withdrawn their signatures having learned they were duped into supporting a scheme they do not support, namely the scheme to destabilize the Party by removing me as the Party President.
- I have never had the intention to chase away elderly members although I am a strong believer in the youth having responsibility in the Party. I have never schemed to sell Uganda house neither do I have legal powers that can enable me sell the property. Indeed the control of Uganda house is completely out of my hands. I am just a member of the governing body with one vote.
- I have no scheme to block Olara Otunu from the presidency. To the contrary both of us are in constant touch as I have always encouraged him to come back home if he wants to contest for the Party presidency.
- On the basis of the above the UPC leadership is categorical that there is no legal petition before me and I urge the Party faithful to ignore schemes by persons whose motives are suspect and most likely not in the interest of the Party. The Party has in place arrangements to ensure the success of the next Delegates' Conference due in a few months. Party members must never be diverted from this.
- The Party Cabinet has noted the fact that there is no prescribed procedure for initiating and filing petitions calling for an extraordinary delegates' conference or special National Council. That however does not mean that such petitions can be brought in a manner which is clearly irregular and in contravention of procedural fairness. In the circumstances and until such procedures are prescribed, the Cabinet would want to advise would be petitioners as follows:
- To file a petition, the petitioners should not act clandestinely but draft whatever petition they want and file it with the Secretary General.
- The petition should clearly state the reasons why it is sought, briefly outlining facts on which it is based.
- The petition should indicate the names of the lead petitioners i.e. those sponsoring it so that the party leadership can contact them for purposes of processing the petition.
- That in view of the possibility of false signatures and misrepresentations and impersonations, those wanting to sign in support of the petition should do so at the party headquarters and on the documents that have been filed with the Secretary General.
- I am ready to comply with any petition which is properly filed and not based on misrepresentation; disinformation or forgeries. UPC members must never act clandestinely against each other. If we are acting in the interest of the party we should do so in the open following official channels. The Cabinet has the assurance of the Party President that those who lost in the reshuffle still have my confidence as party members.
In conclusion the party Cabinet wants to stress the need for placing the interest of the Great Congress first before all else.
For God and my Country
For the great congress of the people,
Uganda Peoples Congress
Mama Miria Kalule Obote