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UNAA POLITICS | RESIGNATION OF THE UNAA BOARD OF TRUSTEES

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Posted August 25, 2014 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in UNAA ~ 7,503 views

     

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For Immediate Release — Date: Monday August 25, 2014

Dear Members of the Ugandan North American Association, We the undersigned members of Ugandan North American Association Board of Trustees (UNAABOT), after much deliberation, consideration and discussion about the current and future predicament of this noble organization, have decided, in good conscience, not to be part of the ongoing manipulation, fraud and corrupt lawlessness that now characterizes the leadership of the Association. It is our duty to inform you that effective 12:00 noon EST, Monday August 25, 2014, we have resigned our role as members of the UNAABOT.

Although this was a very difficult decision to make, nonetheless, it was the right and honorable one. To be clear, collectively, having spent many years as loyal supporters, members and contributors to the Association that started as a friendly backyard gathering two and half decades ago, we still believe in the original vision of an inclusive association bringing diverse Ugandan Diaspora and friends of Uganda to celebrate what unites us as well as our successes in the various spheres of life away from the motherland.

That convivial spirit fostering the sharing of talents and experiences from different areas including entrepreneurial, cultural, education, business, science and technology and, last but not least, raising a successful family in the diaspora was what attracted us then and remains a fierce passion today. What’s more, the freedom of association in which people came together in a clean, transparent, honest and happy gathering was a family affair, if you will.

While the majority of the members are motivated by the original spirit of UNAA, the president of the Association and his close advisors are not. The current crisis that has gripped the Association since the last gathering in Dallas, Texas, is essentially driven by greed, selfishness, cronyism and corruption. Along the way the executive, aided by UNAABOT members Mr. Moses Wilson and Ms. Rosette Serwanga, took very deliberate and specific steps to cocoon and insulate itself from any oversight into whatever actions it wished to take.

Rather than working as democratically elected representatives in whom the membership had placed great trust and confidence, the Executive leadership of UNAA has instead acted like warlords eager and willing to shoot down anyone who dared to raise issues of governance, transparency, and accountability. Conformity was demanded, and those not toeing the line were immediately labeled as “rebels”, “old-timers”, “bitter losers”, “debt-collectors” and even as “non-members” denied their basic rights such as being on UNAALIST, the members online forum. Two distinct groups—“insiders” and the “outsiders”, replaced the feel-good collective known as Diaspora Ugandans. When in a 6-1 decision the UNAABOT ruled that Rahim Kabagambe used deliberate fraud to attempt to be a member of UNAA Council, UNAA President Brian Kwesiga retorted angrily that UNAABOT had no business making such a ruling. In his email to UNAA members dated September 24, 2013, Kwesiga wrote, “always remain conscious to the fact that you are unelected officials whose role in this matter is to interpret the UNAA Constitution as it is and not as you think it should be.”

Well, that was exactly what the UNAABOT did, except that the final verdict did not suit Mr. Kwesiga’s scheme to control the UNAA Council. Instead, he unleashed a campaign to destroy the reputation and integrity of some of the members of UNAABOT, and consequently UNAABOT itself as an independent constitutional organ of UNAA. It made no difference that the Electoral Commission (EC) independently arrived at the same conclusion regarding the non-election of Rahim Kabagambe. The last straw for all of us was the fraudulent and corrupt muscling and muzzling of Mr. Jude Ssempungu out of his elected role as Treasurer of the Association. As you recall, on May 21, 2014, elected UNAA treasurer Mr. Jude Ssempungu wrote an urgent email to the Board Trustees with the information that he had instructed the Bank of America to cancel debit card No. XXXXXX0328 ordered illegally by the elected UNAA President Mr. Brian Kwesiga.

On May 21, 2014, UNAA President Brian Kwesiga presented a document to the Bank of America effectively locking out from the account both the elected Treasurer and elected Secretary as co-signatories to the account. Mr. Kwesiga was now the sole and only signatory to the UNAA accounts. Mr. Kwesiga at the time claimed that an executive meeting had removed Mr. Ssempungu from access to the bank account, but no such meeting ever took place.

On Tuesday, May 27, 2014, a teleconference was called by UNAABOT to mediate the crisis. All three members of the UNAA executive were provided with an opportunity to address the issue of the bank accounts. On June 9, 2014, UNAABOT ordered Mr. Kwesiga to “restore immediately the powers and responsibilities of the UNAA Treasurer to Mr. Ssempungu, the elected Treasurer of the Association, and the signing authority of the Secretary of the Association.”

Mr. Kwesiga ignored the directive from the UNAABOT to adhere to the letter of the UNAA constitution. With the UNAA executive having absolutely no regard for the legal requirements and obligations of the Association, it became clear that UNAABOT could no longer act as trustees to guarantee proper oversight in the financial and other affairs of UNAA, as stipulated by the UNAA Constitution.

We know for a fact that our resignation is the gift that Mr. Kwesiga and his cronies have been waiting for. They have anticipated it, and have discussed it. Now he can quickly appoint a rubber stamp UNAABOT whose only role will be to say yes to whatever the executive demands. Regardless, given the clear evidence of malfeasances, we are convinced that by remaining as members of UNAABOT for as long as we did not only dignified, but also provided effective cover for the bad, corrupt and illegal actions of the UNAA executive. Our continued service made it easy to dismiss our deep concerns as a “matter of interpretation of the UNAA Constitution”, and not about the very character of the leadership that has run roughshod over the said constitution in pursuit of personal gains.

By stepping down today, we believe members can now look squarely at what is happening inside the UNAA leadership, and question the executive directly about its actions on finances and other governance issues. Rather than remaining spectators in what the executive leadership continues to characterize as “fresh blood” versus “old-blood”, “new ideas” versus “tired and old-fashioned retreads”, and “true and tried business model” versus “soft-headed voodoo economics”, members should find space to take a fresh hard look, and ask a simple question: Will this organization survive for another 26 years, bringing together and showcasing the best in Uganda

Diaspora?

We leave, proud and honored to have served you to the best of our abilities. We shall continue to work with and support any and every effort that seeks to restore honesty, integrity, transparency and the rule of law to our association. To those of you starting new adventures in the Fall, returning to school, starting a new job, beginning a new career, becoming new parents, getting married or even considering returning to the motherland for something different, we wish you the very best. To all others, blessings for continued excellent health, happiness and good fortune in whatever you are doing.

Thank you, and God Bless each of you.

Signed

Dr. Sarah Matovu, former Member, UNAABOT
Dr. Muniini K. Mulera, former Member and former Chair, UNAABOT
Dr. Opiyo Oloya, former Member and Secretary, UNAABOT
Mr. James Serumaga, former Member, UNAABOT
Mr. Alexander Zabasajja, former Member, UNAABOT

Disclaimer — The document was a press release sent to Ugandan Diaspora news and it has been reproduced in its entirety. We invite the current UNAA Executive to present their version of events for our readers!


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.

4 Comments


  1.  
    hon. Naggayi Nabilah Sempala

    Hmmmm! What next




  2.  
    Christine Vanworthe

    ffe maaso ku lutiimbe




  3.  
    Dk

    Really, kyewunyisa ate nga kittuffu




  4.  
    SSERUNJOJI ASHIRAF

    Steping down separation could be a symble of selfishness & not an option but advise , fighting for right & togethernes thats the power. ” NO EXCEPTIONS FOR NICE PEOPLE “





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