UPC’s Jimmy Akena Remains Determined in Pursuit of 2026 Presidential Bid

Jimmy James Micheal Akena, President of the Uganda People’s Congress Party (UPC), remains determined with his intention to contest the presidency in the upcoming 2026 general elections. Akena, the son of the late Ugandan President Apollo Milton Obote, made this declaration during a rally in Kabale district, where he sought to gain support for his presidential bid.

Akena’s announcement was met with enthusiasm from UPC supporters in the Kigezi sub-region, who gathered in Kabale district to welcome him.

Akena was joined by key UPC figures, including Fred Ebil, the party’s secretary general; Michael Orach, the principal public relations officer; and several Members of Parliament and district chairpersons affiliated with the party. Annet Kyomuhangi, the Kigezi UPC coordinator, stated that the new office would facilitate grassroots mobilization and strengthen the party’s presence in the region.

During his address in Kabale, Akena expressed his concerns over the state of service delivery in Uganda, particularly in healthcare and education. He pointed to Kigezi College Butobere as an example, lamenting its decline from a prestigious institution to a “shadow of its past glory.”.

Akena’s presidential bid for 2026 garnered support from Members of Parliament and district chairpersons affiliated with the UPC party. He pledged that under his leadership, Ugandans would receive proper and improved services.

“I have been in active politics, participating and understanding how Ugandan politics is being played out,” Akena stated. He noted that the UPC had learned how to protect votes following its victories in recent by-elections, such as the Dokolo Woman MP race.

Addressing why the UPC had reduced its activities in the Kigezi sub-region, Akena cited historical challenges and attacks on party leaders that affected support and mobilization. However, he expressed optimism about the future, stating that the opening of regional offices indicated the party’s commitment to reorganize and actively participate in the 2026 elections.

Despite these ambitions, questions remain about the UPC’s political alignment with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Yoweri Museveni. Akena did not directly address this potential conflict of interest in his remarks.

The UPC’s most recent presidential candidate was Olara Otunnu in the 2011 elections, and before him, Akena’s mother, Miria Kalule Obote, ran in the 2006 polls as the first woman in Uganda to run for president.

The Uganda People’s Congress continues its nationwide consultative meetings, with Akena’s next stop in Kitgum District.


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