Why Supreme Court Kicked Akena Out of Office as UPC President


The Supreme Court has kicked Uganda People’s Congress president, Jimmy Akena out of office.

In its ruling, the highest court in the land said there existed no exceptional circumstances that warranted it to hear an application without first obtaining the leave of the Court of Appeal as had been requested by UPC and its electoral commission.

“From the foregoing discussion, we find that the application no longer bears exceptional circumstances as a basis for it to be filed in this court.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling followed a 2015 ruling by the High Court that Akena is not the legitimate UPC president and consequently, threw him out of office.

Unsatisfied by the decision, UPC together with the party’s electoral commission appealed against the decision before the Court of Appeal.

In 2020, the Court of Appeal also ruled that Akena was illegally in office as UPC president since there have never been lawful elections organized by the party.

The three justices of the Court of Appeal Irene Mulyagonja, Christopher Madrama and Elizabeth Musoke 2020 unanimously agreed and ordered that the UPC organize fresh elections to vote for the new party president.

UPC and its electoral commission ran to the Supreme Court to appeal against the decision.

In the October 13, 2023 decision of the Supreme Court, five justices including Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo, Faith Mwondha, Prof Tbatemwa-Ekirikubinza, Percy Tuhaise and Mike Chibita ruled that there is no right of appeal to the court from the interlocutory orders of the Court of Appeal.

“It can therefore be concluded that the Court of Appeal’s decision in interlocutory matters is final and not subject to appeal.”

The justices said the rationale of the above position is to avoid multiplicity of unnecessary appeals to the court and delays in disposing of appeals which have to first await the decision on the interlocutory matters.

“Following our findings above, we hold that the respondent’s preliminary objections succeed. Consequently, the leave sought by the applicants is declined and the application is hereby dismissed with costs to the respondent.”

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