Gerald Bareebe Kampala UPC president Miria Obote yesterday moved to keep control of the party in the family by firing her deputy who is opposed to her son, James Akena, taking over as party leader. Ms Obote, who was a political novice when she took over the party after the death, in 2005, of her husband and party founder Dr Apollo Milton Obote, yesterday fired her deputy MP Livingstone Okello-Okello and Secretary General Peter Walubiri after they unveiled plans to back a rival candidate. Mr Okello-Okello, the MP for Chwa County, was one of three UPC MPs who addressed a press conference earlier yesterday and revealed that they had successfully convinced Olara Otunnu, a widely respected some might say feared politician who lives in exile, to return and stand for the party top job. Mr Okello-Okello and his colleagues, Obua-Ogwal and Isha Otto, told journalists that they had successfully organised a two-day meeting with Mr Otunnu in Nairobi last week to strategise on ways to break the Obote familys grip on the party that led Uganda to independence and ran the country between 1962 to 1971 and between 1981 to 1985. We briefed him on the current status of UPC and the state of affairs in Uganda, Mr Obua-Ogwal said. He was asked to respond to requests by many party members that he returns to head the party, and he had this to say; I have heard the voices of the people of Uganda and I am deeply touched. I am taking these voices seriously and I will get back to you soon. Speaking about the need for fresh leadership in the party, Mr Obua-Ogwal said: Just like any other Ugandan, we are also concerned that this party is turning into a family affair and we hope that delegates will vote to save the party. But we shall not deny individuals like Mr Akena their right to contest and be voted. Those voices were drowned out later yesterday when Ms Obote, who is set to retire from the UPC leadership at the partys next delegates conference in October, moved to fire the rebels and appoint her son, who is also the Lira Municipality MP, to the UPC executive.