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Dr. Daniel Kawuma | UNAA President Elect Sworn in By UNAA BOT Chair Dr. Buwembo In Boston, MA

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Posted February 18, 2018 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in UNAA Politics ~ 1,463 views

     

Dr. Daniel Kawuma was yesterday sworn in as UNAA President after a snap repeat by-election called by the UNAA BOT and the UNAA – EC following a petition filed by the Kawuma campaign team to annul the election in the wake of a questionable voter register that revealed inflated numbers and members not in good standing that were allowed to vote in Miami.

The oath of President was administered by Dr. Joseph Buwembo who appeared via skype from Canada and was also attended by two other Board of Trustee(BOT) members present in Boston. Other attendees included religious leaders and some prominent members of the boston community who braved the wintry weather conditions to attend this event on Saturday Feb 16th at the Hilton Woburn Hotel. 

A legal battle is expected soon in the State of Massachusetts Courts if no peaceful transition takes place, armed with the UNAA audit and Election petition findings the incoming leadership hopes to file a motion with the Secretary of State to obtain all UNAA instruments of power since UNAA is a registered non profit entity in the State of Massachusetts.

The function was also streamed LIVE on B.U.E. Tv a local community online television. Below is the full speech by Dr. Daniel Kawuma following the swearing in Ceremony held at the Woburn Hilton Hotel on Saturday February 16th in Boston, MA. 

UNAA President Elect – Dr. Daniel Kawuma swears in after a snap repeat election held Feb 9th. Holding the mic is the former UNAA President and BOT member Rosette Sserwanga. This was at the Hilton Woburn Saturday Feb 16th.

Full speech below,

Greetings,

My fellow Ugandans in North America, friends, supporters and family it is a great honor and humbling experience to stand before you today as the President of theUganda North American association. Thank you! 

I would like to start off by thanking everyone who has made it to this function on short notice and very cold weather. Your presence here means a lot to me and those following online, I thank you for your time and support. 

I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of my campaign team. You have been great and put it all on the line for me. This victory wouldn’t have been possible without you. You made me a better candidate, you made me a better person, and you turned me into something I never liked to be called – a politician.

Secondly, I thank Mr. Monday Atigo for his service, we might have disagreed on some issues  but you stepped up to serve UNAA and I respect you for that commitment. I hope when you return from Uganda, we can sit down to come up with a road map on how best to move UNAA forward.

I would like to thank my supporters and also Mr. Atigo’s supporters for loving our organization, for loving your communities and engaging in this election. 

 As we move our organization forward, the time is now to put our differences aside and join hands to work towards a stronger UNAA. We are more powerful as a Uganda Diaspora if we speak in one voice. We have a lot in common coming from the same motherland and we all sacrifice greatly to live in the Diaspora.

A mother in California making a sacrifice to leave her children behind in Uganda for a better job opportunity

A college student in Seattle leaving his family in Uganda to seek a good education.

A father in Boston who works through the long winters to put food on the table to support the family they left behind in Uganda.

A grandmother in Texas who leaves home seeking medical care.

A community member who opens a restaurant, a barber shop, tv station, a saloon or a shipping company to bring services to Ugandans in our communities in North America.

Sending half or more of your paycheck back home to support a family member or loved one, paying medical bills for a brother or sister.  These are the stories and experiences of many Ugandans in our communities.

The challenges our brothers and sisters face back home led many of us to seek opportunity in the Diaspora. Most of us are not here because we dislike our country. If given a choice we would rather have these opportunities in Uganda. We would rather raise our children in Uganda, we would rather retire and spend the rest of our lives home. As UNAA president I will work with our leaders from Uganda and in North America to make sure opportunities are in Uganda not in the Diaspora. To make sure peace and prosperity is in Uganda not only in the Diaspora. To make sure a better education and healthcare is in Uganda not in the Diaspora. 

In order to achieve that goal:

Uniting UNAA under one umbrella will be one of my number one priority. As UNAA President I will not look at UNAA causes or Ttabamiruka, Banyakigezi, Twegaite or any of the other groups as rivals to UNAA. 

I see them as fellow Ugandans, I see them as partners with a mission to improve and serve their communities. I will listen, acknowledge and understand the concerns of all Ugandan diaspora organizations and stop the culture of them vs us.

We are in this together and in order to solve the challenges we face as immigrants in North America, we are more likely to succeed as a voice of 50,000 Ugandans. Because Strength comes from Unity, Unity comes from building relationships. If we work together, UNAA will achieve the plans I have put in place to empower our communities and open doors of opportunity for our people.

Going forward,

When UNAA looks in the eyes of a Ugandan parent struggling to afford tuition for their children, a Ugandan looking to advance their professional career, a Ugandan who is looking for guidance to find job opportunities and a Ugandan worried about their immigration status- under my leadership we shall look in the eyes of those Ugandans and tell them that UNAA has a place for you – that UNAA has an answer for you. Because on this new day the sun will once again shine on the priorities of Ugandans in the Diaspora.

I campaigned on moving unaa’s mandate and mission beyond conventions because not every Ugandan can travel on Labor Day weekend to be part of these festivities. I have a plan to achieve that.

However, the last few months have challenged our leadership structure and my top priority is to create stability in our organization. I have already reached out to the Council speaker, Board of Trustees, UNAA treasurer and other stake holders and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.

UNAA’s 30 year anniversary will be in Seattle and I’m committed to working with community leaders and local organizing committee  to make it a success. Some have asked the question. What has unaa achieved the last 30 years? What has unaa done in my community? The fact that we are even asking that question implies that we have work to do. I’m committed to having a clear answer for our members in the next 100 days. 

In the first 100 days I want to add value to what it means to be a UNAA member. We plan to achieve this from several fronts. 

First, is economic empowerment and financial security?  UNAA members will have option to sign up for a life insurance policy. This will secure our members and their families financially. 

Secondly, we are going to launch the Diaspora investment branch. We come to the diaspora to seek economic opportunities and moving forward I want UNAA to take a lead as an economic engine for our community. With over 50,000 Ugandans in NA, we have the potential to tap into that base and build wealth for our community. We want Ugandans to become business owners and job creators instead of job seekers. 

In the first 100 days we shall launch the emergency fund as a safety net for our members. Living in the Diaspora has a lot of uncertainty and I want UNAA to be one of the possibilities for our members to seek solutions.

In the first 100 days we are going to launch a database that can be a resource for community members seeking job opportunities, legal assistance, mentors, immigration resources and other community resources.

Under my leadership UNAA will be more engaged in policies that affect our people in the Diaspora and back home. The Diaspora deserves a voice, you need to be heard and we are going to be heard. I was recently in DC making sure we fight for the rights of immigrants. That’s just the beginning of what we are capable of accomplishing as an organization.

I cannot forget the youth and first generation Ugandans. We have many young people born in the Diaspora that seek an identity, in search of their heritage, that need mentors that need career guidance. Under my leadership UNAA will offer opportunities to the future leaders of tomorrow

There is a lot on my agenda and the core of my message is to make sure UNAA has a presence all year round in our communities.We have been going to conventions for 30 years, my vision for the next 30 years is to demonstrate that we can achieve more. 

But for that to happen, I have been very clear that we need to get our house in order. If the diaspora wants to have a moral authority to address corruption, we cannot be corrupt, if we want the moral authority to speak out against rigged elections, we should walk on the path of integrity, if we demand that our leaders should deliver services to our people, our own organization should be after 30 years delivering quality services for our people.

We have the resources, skills and talents to make it happen in our community. But fellow Ugandans, I can’t achieve this without your support, your hard work, your commitment and your input. Please reach out to me if you have the skills and resources to participate in the programs we are going to launch.

As your president I’m going to do all I can to make leave a mark on our organization because your values are my values, your struggles are my struggles – your resilience will be the pillar on which I lean serving this great association

I will fight for you – i will be your voice and together we shall transform UNAA into the organization that you are all proud of. A diaspora that is divided lacks strength- a diaspora in conflict lacks a foundation – a diaspora without a vision is where we have been for years and on this day we are not turning back. Thank you so much. It’s a great honor to be your next UNAA  President.

UNAA President Elect — Dr. Daniel Kawuma

To learn about the genesis of the repeat by-election and the UNAA-EC report visit link below.

UNAA Electoral Commission | Declares Mr. Daniel Busuulwa Kawuma duly elected in the UNAA Repeat Elections held on February 9th


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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