Ugandan Diaspora News | Letter from the Editor | August 2013 | UNAA To Make 25 Years In Dallas!

Posted August 1, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Editorial ~ 9,887 views


Dear Readers,

It is now August, named after the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar (adopted son of Julius Caesar, after whom the month of July is named). The end of July marked the Banyakigezi diaspora convention held in Toronto, Canada. Our congratulations to them as they reached the milestone of the 10th anniversary.

Speaking of conventions, UNAA will hold its annual convention August 30th in Dallas at the Omni Hotel, celebrating 25 years. UNAA has come a long way and many of us treasure the friendships we have made over the years through this great organisation. Looking forward, let us hope that the organisation will become more inclusive with less internal squabbling and work on repairing fractured relationships either caused by some in the top leadership in the past or others who took a self-seeking approach that alienated many constituents, particularly at election time. What is needed are issue-based campaigns that address the needs of the organisation and leadership that can take us from vision to reality, steering clear of drama and divisive politics. It was because of UNAA that the Dual Citizenship law became a reality in Uganda!

UNAA should have an affordable life insurance policy for it members by now, a UNAA Building in Uganda and a micro credit and savings scheme for members looking for low interest emergency loans. It is my prayer that we shall bear witness to some of these changes in the coming years, making UNAA more inclusive and progressive for all Ugandans in North America. As someone who was twice elected to the UNAA Board of Directors I can attest to the potential of this great institution. We wish UNAA bigger and better achievements over the next 25 years!

On a sad note we remember Maama Irene Gleeson, the lady from Australia who dedicated more than 20 years of her life to the kids of Northern Uganda during the insurgency that disrupted many of these homeless children’s lives. She passed away last July in Sydney after battling cancer for several years. I remember watching her on Daystar Television, a US cable channel for Christians, earlier this year where, together with Ugandan Gospel artist Exodus, they raised over $500,000 dollars toward the construction of the new Women and Children’s Hospital in Northern Uganda.

Feeding over 30,000 children a day, the Irene Gleeson Foundation is and was by far the largest organisation helping displaced children in Northern Uganda and Irene Gleeson and has had a significant impact on the area.

The other big story out of London has been the anti-immigration advertising campaign by the British Home office targeting racially mixed areas of London. The campaign urges illegal aliens to “Go Home or Face Arrest”.  News about some  of the worst horrendous treatment our African brethren have been subjected to at the hands of British Immigration Law enforcement officers have been surfacing in the news lately. Donald Cameron’s government ought to pronounce itself on this very dehumanizing treatment of African immigrants.

One story that depicts how bad the situation has become in the UK for immigrants is best illustrated by the death of late Jimmy Mubenda an Angolan deportee who died as he was being retrained by British immigration Police aboard a flight bound for Angola in 2010.

Mubenda, a father and husband, was killed by a racist system that continues to treat other human beings as second-class citizens. US statistics estimate that over 11 Million illegal aliens live and work in the USA today, However the US Government approaches the immigration challenge rather differently. Today there is legislation that is aimed at giving illegal immigrants the path to Citizenship. The UK Home Office campaign seems to treat the symptoms rather than root cause of this growing immigration challenge! The negative reaction on Social Media platforms should be reason enough to end this draconian practice!

Back to African politics–Egypt is now on the brink of civil war as a dangerous stand-off between Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and the military looms. Just when we thought that the Egyptians had carved out a way to end conflict, the Muslim Brotherhood failed to seize the moment when they instituted their radical reforms that exacerbated the situation, leading to Morsi’s forced departure and the cycle of violence that has now left scores of people dead.

In Zimbabwe President Mugabe, at 89, has just won another landslide election victory. But judging from the way he looked on the campaign trail,  it seems uncertain that he will be able to complete another term. Independent Observers say more than a million voters were “disenfranchised”  by fraud and the opposition denounced the outcome as a sham.  I would have imagined that by now ZANU – PF would have groomed a candidate to take over from the man who has been pictured half-asleep during some of the recent African summit conferences.. We might be in for another Kamuzu Banda-style presidency where the Malawi leader who had ruled his country since independence stayed on for more than 30 years. Other such leaders were Felix Boigny of Ivory Coast and Hosni Mubarak. The latter of course never appointed a Vice President after the death of Anwar Sadat  in Egypt and was forced out by the Arab Spring revolution. Col. Gaddafi suffered a totally different fate and one would think that his death would serve as deterrent for some of our leaders who cling to power for life!

In other news, the newly born Republic of South Sudan–our neighbor to the north– is floundering. The recent scandal involving President Salva Kiir recalling his entire cabinet, including Vice President Riek Machar, has many worrying about the future of this newly founded democracy that has already gone to war over oil revenues with its former foe to the north — the Republic of the Sudan. Having endured Africa’s longest civil war, the people of South Sudan could use some peace and quiet. Could such senseless divisions and wars partly be the  reason we as Africans are often portrayed negatively by western media outlets??. Africa needs to rise up against all these senseless conflicts and start fulfilling its economic potential!

Finally thanks to those who continue to support Ugandan Diaspora News and win us new subscribers via social media–we truly do appreciate it! We are committed to helping make a difference one step at a time.  Be sure to look out for our Ugandan Diaspora Magazine  — Print Summer Edition in the next few weeks. For AD space see contacts below!

For God and My Country —  Happy 25th Anniversary UNAA!

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.


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