Ugandan Diaspora News | Letter from the Editor | June 2013 | Mid Summer Heat and BBQs

Posted June 1, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Uncategorized ~ 4,812 views


Dear Readers,

Greetings from Boston!

It’s officially June and we are now 7 months away from the close of the year of our lord 2013. It is a month filled with activity for us in the Northern Hemisphere as it brings the full summer heat and the weekend BBQs.

For Ugandans living in Boston it’s a time of spiritual pilgrimage as many show up to remember the Uganda Martyrs who died for their faiths in 1884. This event has now become a permanent time of reflection and renewed faith for the Ugandan Boston community drawing as many as 600 delegates who show up in commemoration of the events surrounding the death and canonization of these saints. This year the annual pilgrimage will be held on June 9th at St. Mary’s Parish in Waltham, with a reception to follow at the Burlington Marriott.

The story goes that between 1885 and 1887 a group of Christians were martyred by the King Mwanga II of Buganda for their refusal to worship traditional gods and to engage in homosexual practices with the King. The refusal of these 22 martyrs to renounce their faith is what got them killed and later canonized by Pope Paul VI and therefore on June 3rd every year a special celebration is held in their honor at the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine. See link below to see last year’s celebrations and part of crowd in Boston.

The start of June also means we are less than a month away from the first Ugandan Diaspora Business Expo in Boston slated for Saturday July 6th and our networking BBQ with some of business leaders from Uganda on Sunday July 7th at Arsenal Park in Watertown. This will be an opportunity for the Ugandan Community in Boston which boasts of the biggest numbers among Ugandans living North American to engage with various business leaders. Areas of Interest will include Investment, Diaspora Banking, Diaspora Bonds, Diaspora Tourism, Real Estate Market and Mobile Money Transfers in Uganda and new ways to attract investment in Uganda. To  participate please call +1978-235-2459 or email

The event has also enjoyed lots of support from Uganda’s Investment body – the Uganda Investment Authority and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A private sector delegation of business leaders from Uganda will be led by Prof. Maggie Kigozi a director at the Pepsi Cola Company of Uganda. We encourage as many as can travel to Boston to join us for the July 4th Independence Expo. Vendor booths are available and advertising space in our event booklet — The Ugandan Diaspora Magazine — is slowly taking shape and filling up with companies looking to promote their products and services to the Ugandan Diaspora market. See link to the press conference held in Kampala

A special guest Speaker in the names of Angel Jones – founder and CEO of Homecoming Africa, will also be joining us and presenting her life story as a South African Diaspora returnee whose move back to Africa reaped huge dividends.
Mr. Amos Wekesa, a leading tour operator in Uganda, will also address the expo on the vast tourism potential in Uganda today and how the Ugandan Diaspora community can tap into this market and reap from the upcoming tourist attractions like the ‘Total Eclipse’ that will be viewed perfectly from Packwach.

Others expected will include representatives from Bank of Uganda, Uganda Investment Authority, Post Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, The Commercial Bank of Africa, AAR that will be introducing a new Diaspora Medical Insurance cover for would be travelers to Uganda, Samona Products, Promote Uganda and a host of real estate companies targeting the Diaspora. Ethiopian Airlines our official partner airline has also offered a special discount fare to the US for would be attendees flying in from Entebbe.  Also expected to attend will be the new Ugandan Ambassador to Washington Her Excellency Olivia Wonekha.

As a recap last month was big news for Uganda — first came the closure of Uganda’s leading Independent Daily, The Monitor Newspaper. And in a equally surprising move the President appointed Uganda’s Army Commander then to the Internal Affairs docket, replacing him with the newly promoted Gen. Katumba Wamala the first four star Muganda General to become CDF.

All these changes came after what seemed to be a stinging letter by a one Gen. Sejusa formerly Tinyenfuza who opined that a ‘Project Muhoozi’ was in the offing and that attempts had been made to eliminate top generals opposed to the scheme. Gen. Sejusa has been AWOL in London since the turn of events that seem to have further curtailed press freedom in Uganda. Those who know the General well have also expressed dismay at his outburst given his tumultuous past and indiscipline dating back to the NRM bush days.

The other big change making news last month was the cabinet reshuffle in Uganda that was leaked first through social media outlets before the official government mouth pieces could announce the news social media was a wash with news of new reshuffle. Some have been quick to tie the reshuffle to the clash of General. The 11 day closure and occupation of the offices of the Daily Monitor by security operatives and the Uganda Police force all in an effort to retrieve General Sejusa’s letter have also left media freedom in balance. As member and defender of the fourth estate Journalists always protect their sources.

In the US the famous June 17th Watergate scandal ended President’s Nixon’s presidency largely because of the illegal break in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex. On August 9th 1974 President Nixon was forced to resign and 43 senior members of his administration were indicted, convicted and others incarcerated. This story would never have unearthed the scandals and crimes in the white-house if the media led by veteran investigative journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had not protected their unanimous source nicknamed ‘deep throat’ to uncover the biggest political scandal in US history. Therefore as the coordinator of Intelligence agencies in Uganda, Gen. Sejusa’s letter raised many concerns that the Uganda government should have addressed as opposed to gagging the press and attempting to muzzle the General.

In conclusion, last month was a period of deep reflection as I read and got to learn of story surrounding Iryn Namubiru, Uganda’s top diva who was arrested for allegedly carrying illegal substances into Japan. As the story unfolded it started to emerge on social media that Iryn had been either set up or was the unfortunate victim of a growing illegal drugs trade out of Entebbe. Here is Iryn’s account — or check out the Luganda version

This development left me thinking and even worried at how many of us carry food items or even suitcases for relatives and friends abroad. With Uganda quickly becoming a transit route for drug traffickers and hefty attractive sums on offer for those willing to risk everything it might not be advisable to carry items you did not pack as an arrest might easily earn you a life sentence in many of these developed countries. Whatever the circumstances Iryn should be thankful that she only spent 21 days in incarceration luckily for her the truth must have set her free but how many innocent people have suffered a different outcome during their hour of reckoning. Be on the look out the next time you travel or decide to be a good Samaritan as your entire life could change in flash by those among us trying to cut corners in attempt to get rich quicker!

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” —Groucho Marx

Ronnie Mayanja
MSc. Comm – Boston University

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About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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