The deposed Uganda People’s Congress party president, Olara Otunnu, and his cabinet will not attend the National Council of the party that started Thursday.
The meeting will go on up to Saturday at Jokas Hotel, Bweyogerere in Wakiso District.
The leadership of Jimmy Akena of the Uganda Peoples’ Congress party extended invitations to Otunnu’s camp early this week.
Michael Osinde Orach the acting spokesperson in the Akena cabinet says this was intended to bring the two leaders together before the top party members to find a common ground for the resolution of the long standing leadership dispute.
Lucima Okello the spokesperson of the Otunnu administration when contacted by Uganda Radio Network said that they will not be attending an illegal gathering.
The Otunnu camp says the meeting is illegal because Akena has no right to organise any meeting on behalf of the party.
Akena, the son to Uganda’s former president, Milton Obote, hastily became the presumptive party leader in July when his motion to replace Otunnu was backed by a number of members despite opposition from others.
“He is acting illegally and illegitimately in whatever he is doing. We urge UPC members to stay away from the acts of Akena because very soon, he will be appearing before the court against his actions,” Lucima said.
Lucima said the UPC leadership remains unchanged as the party president is only elected by a legally constituted delegates’ conference “and not hand-picked by individuals”.
Osinde told Daily Monitor that since Otunnu assumed office, he has never called for any party organ meeting yet the party constitution mandates him to call a national council meeting at least once a year and a delegates conference at least twice every five years.
He said the Bweyogerere meeting will focus on The Democratic Alliance and whether UPC will present a presidential candidate or not, approving Akena’s cabinet and the party’s manifesto ahead of 2016 elections, and appointing disciplinary and electoral committees.
Last month, UPC vice president Joseph Bossa sued Akena in the High Court for allegedly declaring himself UPC president after he was sworn in on July 1, in a hastily arranged consultative meeting held in Kampala.
Lucima further faulted the Electoral Commission that recently confirmed Akena as the legal UPC president, saying it was wrong.