Ugandan Diaspora News | Letter from the Editor | March 2015 | Happy International Women’s Day!

Posted March 2, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Editorial ~ 6,147 views



Dear Readers,

Global warming, or the fear of the same, has many of us asking all sorts questions about the record snowfall we saw last month in the Northern Hemisphere.

On March 3 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak at the joint session of Congress. The speech on the eve of a crucial election in Israel that has Natanyehu attempting to win his fourth term will be largely devoted to his fight against the Iranian nuclear threat. However the speech is also coming at a price. The GOP led by the US Speaker of Congress Jon Boehner and the Israel Embassy chose not to inform the White House something the Obama administration only found out through the main stream media — to many this modus operandi was interpreted as a snub or a breach of protocol.

The reckless approach by the Republicans and Israel will be sure to rock the US – Israel relations. Netanyahu’s address will be his third appearance in Congress a privilege only accorded the British Prime Minister Mr. Winston Churchill in the past. And so we wait to see how this live televised speech worldwide will impact the results of the election in Israel with the ongoing AIPAC conference in the wings — was this political expediency or will it cost Israel big time!

March 8 we celebrate International Women’s Day, a good time to show some love for all the women and mothers who go above and beyond to feed and raise their families. To this end Ugandan women in Boston will be launching a women’s international organisation with all the works and a dinner. So join the women in Boston as they commemorate International Women’s Day and form the first women’s organisation representing African minorities in Boston.

We also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 50-mile march of civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King, from Selma to Montgomery Alabama to protest a brutal murder and the denial of their constitutional right to vote. MLK and Malcolm X rallied black Americans but it was President Lyndon Johnson who signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965, ending all forms of voting discrimination against black folks. We who have now emigrated to the US and embraced citizenship need to appreciate these civil liberties.

Back home in Uganda, it is just a year to the next democratic election. By that time President Museveni will have been at the helm for more than 30 years. The opposition is still a weak and divided lot. Norbert Mao, President of the Democratic Party, has been in poor health and, on the recommendation of doctors, has stepped aside from active politics. Dr. Kiyingi, who recently declared his intention to run, is also facing charges of treason. On the other hand, former Ugandan Prime Minister and NRM Secretary General Mbabazi is now in total isolation, as his perceived presidential ambitions were beginning to cause jitters within the NRM ranks.

Upstaged by the rumors of a cabinet reshuffle that went wrong a few weeks ago, the government announced a new cabinet reshuffle. Notable changes were the Minister of Finance, who now will advise the President on the Bretton Woods Institutions. Maria’s replacement was the junior minister for finance who might be elevated partly because it is an election year and a minister who will tow the line by not ask questions or is party-loyal is the best way to go for the presidency. Other elevations in the new shuffle included Jim Muhwezi, who bounces back as Information Minister and the movers of the sole candidacy ploy led by Evelyn Anite and Bahati, equally rewarded and elevated to State Ministers. Some on social media treated this reshuffle with contempt while others have questioned the wisdom of re-appointing Mr. Kuteesa now serving as the President of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly as our Foreign Affairs Minister.

On behalf of the Diaspora we would have been better served creating the office of Coordinator Diaspora Initiatives in the President’s office the way some of our neighbors have done to help jump start the various community organisations working hard to promote and market Uganda abroad. Often times we are self funded with very little government support yet we are Ugandans at heart and therefore the best positioned to help market Uganda as compared to some of the PR companies paid hefty sums to do our bidding.  See complete reshuffle list below —

Leaving nothing to chance, the President has been on the campaign trail in full combat gear, selling his manifesto or delivering on party promises. This means that the opposition will need more time to play catch up when the electoral commission declares the campaigns open. However by the look of things, we need a more level playing field that allows all citizens to vie for the top position instead of the current ring-fenced politics. Every leader attains greatness because someone mentored them and believed in them. It is time for Uganda and our leader to groom a successor who can hold the Republic together long after our President is gone or else we risk losing all the gains of this revolution. Libya and Iraq should be the best lessons of how things can quickly go south.

Finally, with the decline in oil prices, the hope Ugandans have placed in oil and gas production might yield little or no return on investment. The Uganda-Kenya pipeline planned to the coast is estimated to cost 3 billion dollars, including the refinery in Hoima District and related infrastructure. The government of Uganda has as its first choice a Russian-led consortium to handle the construction. With falling oil prices and America turning to alternative sources of fuel, Uganda might need to focus on tourism and agriculture, given our scenic beauty and fertile soil, to help revive and grow the economy. With the oil companies looking to newly discovered oil fields elsewhere and Uganda’s slow process at effecting these oil agreements, it might be time to revisit our priorities.

Equally disturbing for Uganda is the new Iron Curtain descending on Moscow and Russia with Vladimir Putin eliminating political opponents and also annexing territory lost to the former Soviet Republics. The murder of Boris Nemtsov, former Deputy Premier of Russia and outspoken critic of Putin, is another sign that Russia might be slipping back into a political abyss. Uganda therefore needs to proceed with caution since Russia has been the target of numerous sanctions from the European Union and the United States both major donors to Uganda.

The Ugandan Canadian Business Expo and Convention planning is now underway be sure to save the dates July 3rd – 5th. Working with the Ugandan High Commission in Ottawa we shall descend on the Toronto central business district during weekend of Canada Day and America’s Independence holiday. For inquiries and sponsorship please email us at – —

A Happy International Women’s Day to all the wonderful Moms!

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”
― Brigham Young

Ronnie Mayanja
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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.

One Comment


    Caution indeed, since when has Russia and Uganda been bed fellas! Does that mean Ugandans would have to learn Russian tooo

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