What next for Akena after Court of Appeal threw him out of UPC presidency?

Jimmy Akena. Courtesy Photo

The Court of Appeal has ordered Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) president Jimmy Akena out of office to pave way for the election of a party leader in line with the political organisation’s constitution.

Justices Irene Mulyagonja, Christopher Madrama and Elizabeth Musoke ruled that Akena has illegally been UPC president since 2015 when he was controversially elected.

But Prof Edward Kakonge, Otto Isaah Amizza and Joseph Bbossa (RIP) challenged the election of Akena, saying it flouted party election rules.

They were represented by lawyer Julius Galisonga of Galisonga and Company Advocates.

High Court judge Yasin Nyanzi ruled on the matter in December 2015, nullifying Akena’s election as UPC president on grounds that it contravened the party’s constitution.

Akena’s camp appealed Nyanzi’s ruling.

A son to two-time president Apollo Milton Obote, Akena rode on an order by then deputy chief justice Steven Kavuma that blocked any petitions against his presidency to lead the party for five years.

But now, the Court of Appeal has called for elections to elect a party president, weeks after the UPC delegates conference gave Akena a second term.

“In conclusion, this appeal is dismissed. The members of Uganda People’s Congress should conduct nominations and elect a president in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution of Uganda,” ruled Mulyagonja on behalf of the panel.

At the start of August 2020, Akena got another five-year term as UPC president.

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But what next can Akena do? The Lira Municipality MP can still appeal the latest ruling in the Supreme Court.

Depending on how long the Supreme Court takes to dispose of the case (in case he files it), Akena might have a few years at the helm.

In the Supreme Court, he would also argue that the term for which court ordered nullification of his election has already expired, and that he has already been elected for a second term.

That would mean that the camp opposed to his leadership would have to challenge his election that happened at Kasangati in August.

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