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Uganda Peoples Congress
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
UPC and Milton Obote Foundation
29 November 2006
UPC STRUCTURES AND MILTON OBOTE FOUNDATION
- There have been, of recent, a lot of reactions and speculations arising from the reorganisation exercise of the Party. Many of the reactions were based on either false information or on interests of particular individuals.
- Party structures based on the July 1997 recommendations of the Consultative Group Conference (CGC).
- Obote family vis-agrave;-vis Milton Obote Foundation.
- Let me start by addressing the issue of the Party structures. The Consultative Group Conference (CGC) which took place in Lusaka in July 1997 looked into reforming the structures and came up with some innovative recommendations which were to see all executive positions within the Party elected through an elaborate system beginning with the Branch elections from where the Party President will be elected. At that time in 1997, it was envisaged that there would be at least two Delegates Conferences before elections so that the changes can be effected. Due to the late opening of the political space and the tragedy, which befell the Party, we were unable to make all the necessary changes to improve on the democratic operations of the Party. The National Executive has been preparing to present to the Delegates the 1997 Lusaka recommendations raised by the late Party President as well as other recommended changes to the Party Constitution for their consideration and we are confident that through these processes the Party will be strengthened and will be able to effective articulate and represent the hopes and aspirations of the people of Uganda.
- On the involvement of the Obote family in the affairs of MOF, a lot of media attention has attacked and insinuated that Jimmy Akena is behind the reorganisation and the putting of caveats on MOF properties. Let me restate that UPC as a Party has a structure and that any decisions that the Party makes are discussed within the framework of the Party structure.
- Jimmy Akena worked as a Personal Assistant to the late Party President for 12 years and by virtue of that has learnt from him and is privy to certain vital information related to the Party which makes him resourceful to the Party, and that is the basis for which I appointed him my personal assistant. Further to that, Jimmy Akena by his own right is an elected leader of the Party from Lira Municipality and as a Party member and leader he has every right to participate in Party affairs.
- As a family we know that the late Party President had a vision and fought tirelessly for all his life for that vision to be realised and it is our obligation to carry out that vision and to protect his legacy.
- The caveats on Plot 8 and 10 Kampala Road (Uganda House) were registered on 22nd June 2006 by UPC and those on the rest of the MOF properties on 5 th July 2006. The public records in the office titles; available on a search, show neither Jimmy Akena nor the Milton Obote family registered any caveats.
- The vision can simply be summed up as the building of a strong, self-sufficient people-centred Party whereby in order to do this the late Milton Obote brought together Party stalwarts from across the length and breadth of the country and established the Milton Obote Foundation (MOF). To implement that vision there were several subsidiary companies created by MOF: -
The Uganda Press Trust (Incorporated 22nd August, 1963) for example was established "as a basic instrument for its operations as an educational institution" capable of producing newspapers, books, magazines, leaflets and other printed material in line with the Foundation's stated objective "to promote the universal ideals of free speech and free press, to improve the state of public information, and to maintain and open free access to such public information to the people of Uganda and/or East Africa which would make available to them accurate and objective information on question of public and civic interest and news of international and national affairs".
The mouthpiece of the Party namely THE PEOPLE whose first issue ran on 28 th March, 1964 was printed and published by Uganda Press Trust Ltd. as a weekly newspaper "for, about and by Ugandans." The People (Newspapers) Ltd. was then formed in February 1968 to run as a daily newspaper.
Adult Education Centre was established in November 1965 to among other things provide enlightenment of the people through programmes such as seminars and publishing. The Adult Education Centre went beyond running an adult literacy campaign but also organised seminars on topics such as "The Role of Labour in Uganda", "The Problem of Co-operatives" and "Small Business" so that these important ideas could be passed to as many interested Ugandans as possible in addition to educational manuscripts. The Adult Education Centre also produced "how-to-do-it" books for farmers, businessmen and civil servants as a means of equipping and providing Ugandans with the necessary information to meet the various challenges they faced. The Centre was also to engage in a journalist training programme and social research. The base for the Centre was to be at Buziga which was also to double as an "Ideological Institute for the Party" and the plans for the Assembly Hall were designed to accommodate up to 1500 people so that it could "serve as a venue for Party Conferences."
Uganda Publishing House Ltd. was incorporated 15th March, 1966 "to develop school books, written by Ugandans" while working closely with the Teachers' Association to ensure "that these books incorporate the most modern educational concepts." The publishing house also provided training and guidance to Ugandan authors in educational writing as well as other fields. In 1968 Uganda Publishing House Ltd. published 24 different books for the Uganda educational system.
Uganda School Supply LTd. was incorporated on 21st January 1967 to "ensure that books and school supplies are efficiently distributed to Uganda's schools at the lowest possible price." Uganda School Supply Ltd. maintained the firm policy of purchasing locally produced goods whenever possible and through bulk buying was able to reduce costs so that "individual students will receive more supplies for their school fees." In order to improve on these objectives, the exercise book manufacturing business operated by Ugationers of Mbale was bought by the Foundation.
In order to improve on the quality of material printed by Foundation through its subsidiaries, Graphic Arts Ltd. was incorporated on 7 th April 1967 to enhance the visual presentation of any material to be published by Uganda Publishing House Ltd., the Adult Education Centre, and the Uganda Press Trust Ltd. Fellow Ugandans and members of the press these are no longer functioning.What happened to them in the last 20years?
- Let me end by assuring all Party Members that I will use the mandate you gave me to protect the interests of your Party including its Headquarters. I therefore want to warn that those who think that they will take advantage of A. Milton Obote's death to frustrate our great Party from fulfilling the vision of its founders that they will be fought through all available ways and means.
For God and my Country
Mama Miria Kalule Obote
President, Uganda Peoples Congress