Uganda: UNAA split looms as 2 camps emerge
The oldest Ugandan diaspora organization is on the verge of yet another split after two operational camps emerged following a disagreement on elections and constitutional procedures.
One of the camps is headed by embattled president Monday Atigo and another by his deputy who claims to be the legitimate President supported by the Board of Trustees (BOT) headed by Dr Joseph Buwembo.
It all started accusing each other of holding positions illegally as a spill-over from last year’s controversial election won by Monday Atigo. However, the BOT nullified the election citing irregularities, hence an exchange of correspondences ensued.
Following the exchange of correspondences, the BOT stripped Mr Atigo of all UNAA effects including UNAA records, bank accounts and canceled all credit cards.
In retaliation, Mr Atigo scrapped BOT off the association’s header paper and also deleted their profiles on the association’s website.
Decision on elections
While both camps agreed on fresh presidential elections, each camp has adamantly insisted on a different date to hold the fresh elections.
The BOT insists that elections will be held next month, while Mr Atigo and the majority of Electoral Commission members (9 out of 15) insist elections will be held in Seattle in August.
The members led by ‘sacked’ EC Secretary Peter Simbi and John Agaba have written statements in which they appeal the date, claiming they have a busy schedule outside UNAA activities hence cannot hold elections.
Mr Atigo on the other hand, insists that there will not be elections in February.
“I am the constitutionally elected President and sworn in as well as off September 3, 2017. So, a group of illegally appointed individuals cannot decide for the members (the supreme organ of UNAA),” Mr Atigo insists.
Mr Atigo’s contender, Daniel Kawuma when contacted said that elections will be held in February and that he has contacted all parties involved to confirm the same.
“I am in touch with both the chairman EC and the BOT and the elections for February are on with or without Mr Atigo. I do not buy the excuse that EC are too busy to organize elections. UNAA will move forward following the laws that govern us,” Mr Kawuma added.
Meanwhile BOT secretary, Martin Musinguzi also reiterated that the EC members cannot appeal the election date as they have no mandate. He also added that they do not give any genuine reasons to shift the date of elections to the convention in Seattle.
“They are clutching on straws by using such excuses.Their only excuse could be lack of resources not to determine when or where to have an election,” Mr Musinguzi said.
“The EC is entirely existing under the direction and auspices of the BOT. And their only mandate is to do the bidding of the BOT or basically hold / conduct elections,” Musinguzi added.
Meanwhile, some members say they are fed up of the bickering.
In a text message, Mr Edward Nantamu weighed in on the ongoing fight in UNAA.