Gen Otema Awany raises speculation of political ambitions

Gen Otema Awany raises speculation of political ambitions
Lt Gen Charles Otema Awany

With the 2026 Parliamentary polls on the horizon, speculations are rife in Gulu City's Bardege-Layibi Division as Lieutenant General Charles Otema Awany is rumoured to be considering a bid for the parliamentary seat.

Since late 2023, Gen Otema Awany has been actively engaging with constituents, sparking rumours of his potential candidacy for the upcoming elections.

The Bardege-Layibi Division or Gulu West is currently represented in Parliament by Martin Ojara Mapenduzi of the National Unity Platform.

Despite not officially declaring his intentions, Gen Otema Awany frequent interactions with the public have stirred speculation about his political ambitions.

"Otema has not declared whether he will contest against Mapenduzi, but he continues to meet a large number of people," noted a source close to the Reserve Forces chief

In response to the rumors, incumbent MP Mapenduzi expressed concern, accusing Otema Awany of masquerading and calling on the UPDF to intervene.

"The UPDF should stop him," said Mapenduzi, who also revealed that two members of Otema Awany's camp were arrested for social media abuse against him.

"The speculation on the ground is rife that the outspoken UPDF General has intentions to unseat Mapenduzi," a source said.

Bardege-Layibi division, home to the UPDF 4th Infantry Division headquarters and Gulu Airfield, holds strategic importance in the region, further intensifying the interest in the unfolding political dynamics.

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