Ugandan Diaspora News | Letter from the Editor | April 2015 | Well done Nigeria!

Posted April 7, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Editorial ~ 5,426 views



Dear all,

Greetings from Boston where it is now winding down from what was a bitter cold winter. Spring is now upon us and signs of life are beginning to emerge out of the Northeast. Hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday. This period also marks the holiest time in the Christian and Jewish calenders as we commemorate the Passover, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord.

On the news feed it was quite a month full of activity. But perhaps most gruesome was the new attack by Al Shabaab on a Kenyan campus that left 147 students in Garissa dead. The Kenyan government response has also come under scrutiny– the planes that should have carried first responders carried government officials and it took another 11 hours before the siege was lifted and the attackers neutralized.

Al-Shabaab remains a big threat in the region. The intel released by the US Embassy in Kampala about a week ago might have saved lives in Uganda where security was beefed up in all public places frequented by foreigners. We pray for the souls of all the students and Christians that perished in Garissa and hope that this radicalization of faith will end soon.

The other big story from African came from Nigeria, the continent’s biggest economy, which experienced a rare but peaceful transfer of power after the defeat of an incumbent. President Goodluck Jonathan had also made attempts to extend the election date, citing security concerns. The Nigerians were not having any of it, especially following the poor government record on corruption — $20 billion dollars in oil revenues was reported missing by the Central Bank Governor last year, the failure to return the missing girls and Boko Haram’s continuing reign of terror in the Northeast part of Nigeria did not help Goodluck — his luck was to later run out at the ballot. However following this election President Goodluck Jonathan was quick to concede and congratulate the General Buhari. He together with the Chairman of the electoral commission of Nigeria have emerged as the real heroes for avoiding violence in one of Africa’s most populated nations (173 Million.)

In Uganda where the electoral commission is appointed by the President himself, a candidate in the very election process is at the center of badly needed electoral reforms. Following the election violence of 2007, Kenyans seems to have got it right by limiting the powers of the executive through a series of constitutional amendments. And so we wait to see if a more acceptable electoral commission will be created ahead of the elections in 2016 so that we have a semblance of a level political playing field. However with the advent of social media it might be increasingly difficult to steal elections as we now have more citizen journalists.

Back here in North America the Tooro American Association held their inaugural convention in Maryland. Other Ugandan communities will also be holding annual conventions–the Basoga in Minnesota, the Banyakigezi in Dallas and Baganda in Massachusetts. This is indeed a great time to advance cultural identity as a Diaspora community.

On a sad note, the Uganda North America Association was finally served with a notice to appear in court by one of its members who wishes to see some constitutional and leadership changes. Last year saw an unfortunate splintering–two conventions held at two separate hotels in San Diego by two separate groups that were part of the original UNAA. This year we shall also see two conventions–one held in New Orleans and the other in New York. What is particularly sad is seeing how egos have slowly and effectively destroyed this once vibrant institution that brought many of us together.

Some will also blame this current state of affairs on the importation of Uganda’s politics to UNAA but it should be added that intrigue in UNAA also contributed greatly to the unraveling of this once unifying Ugandan Diaspora association. If there are press releases by both the respondent and the current UNAA leadership following the court proceedings we shall be sure to publish them for all members.

Finally, It’s more than 35 years since General Idi Amin Dada was overthrown having assumed the Presidency of the Republic of Uganda, on February 2nd 1971. During his iron fisted rule Amin brought about a number of changes including the unpopular decision to expel Ugandan Asians,  the building of the Kampala International Conference Center, establishment of Uganda Airlines, construction of the Mukono Mpooma Satellite station and the acquisition of real estate for Uganda abroad that now houses many of our embassies like Uganda house in London and New York.  General Amin was also lauded by many Ugandans as a hero for empowering his people even with his limited level of education. He was overthrown on April 9th 1979 by coalition force of Tanzanians, Ugandans and Cuban fighters. But given the current state of affairs it’s no surprise that Idi Amins name has come up for mention as a true Ugandan patriot who contributed to Uganda’s self rule. (of-course this is a subjective point owing to his alleged reign of terror)

Today some identify Uganda’s problem as having rulers rather than leaders and cadres instead of accounting officers for ministers. With the next election round the corner how can we ensure service delivery for all Ugandans and a country in which the youth can find employment and the old can get affordable functioning healthcare facilities. It is now time to hold our leaders accountable — are we better off today than we were 5 years ago. Lets make the next election an issue based campaign season. As Ugandans we are all endowed with the God given potential and unalienable rights that allow us to campaign and stand for any office in this great republic. So if you feel convicted then stand up and make a difference.

On a personal note we learnt of Rosemary Nankabirwa’s fight against cancer at Mulago Cancer Institute. Rosemary was a famous news anchor on WBS and NTV whose career impacted many with her professional presentation. She now needs our support to help fund-raise for her treatment and medical bills. Be sure to visit the link below and join us in helping Rosemary defeat Cancer.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete – Buckminster Fuller

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. – C. S. Lewis

For God and My Country.

— 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


    I think the problem is not our leaders but we our selves who promote enguzi to cut through the line and also failing to know what we want to do wether we want a nation or a revolution a situation where by the out come is predetermined before the election Kwesiga was rejected at the beginning of his term well as he was democratically elected then what is likely to happen if we elect another Unaa president?

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