Ugandan Diaspora News Editorial | June 2016 | The End of the US Primaries and How a Trump vs Hillary Contest Might Reshape America!

Posted June 15, 2016 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Editorial ~ 5,008 views


Dear Readers,

It’s finally official that what was perhaps the most contested election primary season is now over. Hillary Clinton managed to overcome Senator Bernie Sanders’ movement in California, considered the last stand to clinch the Democratic Party nomination. The Super Tuesday contests covered 5 other states that saw Hillary Clinton carry New Jersey the other big state on the East coast. In the California, with the most delegates of any state, Sec. Clinton won with 55.6% of the vote.

This victory left Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee expected to succeed Pres. Barack Obama if the power of incumbency is anything to go by, since Hillary served Obama as Secretary of State during his first term in office, yet pundits argue that no one party has held onto the White House for 3 consecutive terms. Politics aside, it was quite historic, given the years that have been dedicated to women’s rights — dating from the Senaca Falls meetings in 1848. To see a woman nominated on major party ticket was no mean achievement for Mrs. Clinton. However call him what you may, Sen. Sanders energized the Democratic Party as demonstrated by the surge in voter registrations during this primary season. Sen. Sanders refusal to concede, promising to hold his ground till the last primary in Washington, DC on June 14th, seemed to have rubbed some in the Democratic establishment the wrong way. He held meetings with President Obama before POTUS endorsed Hillary. Some believe that the late endorsement was meant to help prevent acrimony within the party since President Obama is also considered a Super Delegate.

However it must be noted that the unpopularity of Trump and Hillary during this primary election cycle has left both parties fractured and, in a way, looking for alternative candidates. The resulting impact has been the entry of new players and a third party candidate — at the Libertarian Party convention held in Orlando at the end of May, Gov. Gary Johnson, a two-term governor of New Mexico and Gov. Bill Weld, a two-term governor of Massachusetts, were chosen to run on an independent ticket. This should worry Donald Trump, since their appeal is to the Republican establishment dissatisfied with Trump and unwilling to back his candidacy. In 2012 the LP candidate got 1% of the vote and currently the party is polling at about 10% of the national vote. What is required is about 15% to appear on the ballot in November.

In 1992 billionaire Ross Perot was blamed for costing President George Bush Sr. the Presidency, when Bill Clinton defeated an incumbent according to some pundits. Later it was Ralph Nader of the Green Party who played the spoiler in the 2000 election that allowed George Bush Jr. to ascend to the Presidency in an election that was decided by about 537 votes, in part because Ralph Nader received about 97,000 votes that some say would have gone to Al Gore. The Libertarian Party in this case is considered the new Green Party that could split the votes and allow an unlikely candidate to occupy the White House.

Of course, with Hillary dogged by her email scandal while at the State Department and Donald Trump facing the Trump University debacle, these two front runners are the most baggage-laden candidates in US history, which will be fodder for the biggest negative television advertising campaign in US history. And even though Trump was written off he has received the most votes of any candidate in an election primary, something that has puzzled many conservatives that have refused to endorse him, the latest being Gov. Mitt Romney who was the presumptive nominee in 2012. True to his word, Trump has also been quick to use the latest mass shooting in Orlando to his advantage by playing to the Islamophobic sentiments held by some right wing groups that all Muslims must be barred from entering America. Trump’s rise shares similarities to that of Hitler and the rise of the Third Reich in Germany after the Great Depression. A Trump Presidency will definitely reshape America’s foreign policy and probably lead to a new world order given his renegade views!

Back in Uganda there has been a hive of activity and interesting news cycles. Toward the end of May we played host to two great leaders — the President of South Korea was in Uganda accompanied by a delegation of about 100 businessmen and shortly after her visit, Tayip Erdogan the Prime Minister of Turkey, descended on Uganda to strengthen cooperation with the Turkish state. Interestingly, in total disregard to other people’s civil liberties, the country’s only major highway leading to the International airport was closed to traffic, resulting in public condemnation on social media. What was even more bizarre was the Police spokesman attempted justification and later apology for this action that not only resulted in lost revenue for some businesses but also in disrupted international travel for others including tourists. By contrast, the same duo had visited Kenya and saw President Uhuru Kenyatta host his two heads of states in the company of the main opposition politicians, something we have not see in Uganda for quite some time. An olive branch is long overdue, and the part of the population that did not vote for the president also needs representation at all levels, especially state functions.

As promised, and with the powers entrusted to him by the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, the President named his new enlarged cabinet that saw some old timers bounce back. Most interesting was the elevation of the First Lady to the new position of Education Minister while Beti Kamya, after losing her MP race for Lubaga North. will now be the new Minister for Kampala. Of course, given the fights that have paralyzed much of the work at Kampala Capital City Authority, it will be interesting to see how City Manager Jennifer Musisi, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and now the Kampala Minister Beti Kamya will get along. As one of the most unplanned cities in the region we hope and pray that the leaders and new councilors will focus on getting the people of Kampala the services they deserve.

From the cabinet arrangement it was also clear that the new government would maintain the previous status quo of a ceremonial vice president, as opposed to a deputy president with substantive powers, a system Kenya adopted and South Africa also uses, as we prepare for transition in 2021. In a few years we might be back to Kyankwanzi to anoint another movement cadre to succeed the President, that is if he does not return once the only obstacle —  the age limit is lifted by the majority NRM parliament. President Museveni, known for his political expediency, has perhaps eliminated all opposition in part by forming unholy alliances similar to those we saw in the 1960s between Obote and KY. This time Akena’s UPC faction seems to have sold out, to the dismay of party stalwarts like Olara Otunnu, who have claimed that Akena and his wife, now a Minister in Museveni’s new cabinet, were moles used by NRM to destabilize Uganda People’s Congress.

However the latest and perhaps most disturbing news out of Uganda has been the new talk of a coup plot that has seen some military personnel arrested on subversive activities against the State. While some have treated this move with suspicion, we await to see if the suspects will be produced in the courts of law and charged with treason. Links have also been made to the ongoing defiance campaign, whose activities have largely been banned by the State. However our NRM government needs to revisit the ideologies for which it fought a protracted liberation war if we are to avoid slipping back into the reign of terror that characterized the 1970s and 1980s now that conditions that led to the NRA waging a 5 year guerrilla bush war are increasingly visible today.

Politics aside we are now about 6 months away to our annual Ugandan Diaspora Gala, now in its 6th year. We are pleased to announce that the nomination process has begun for some of the people we shall be recognizing at this year’s gala. Dr. Stephen Kaddu a dermatologist, researcher and founder of Global Telehealth Network, has accepted our invitation to attend this year’s gala.

Other notable awardees will include Phillip Kiboneka, founder of the Hammerkop Travel Group which operates luxury tented camps in Uganda. Their properties include Kasenyi Safari camp in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Prior to his return to Uganda Mr. Kiboneka was a senior director at Plexxikon Inc., a pharmaceutical company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Nandi Mutema Kanyerezi, co-founder of the Village Mall Clinic in Bugolobi and a director at Kololo Hospital, will be among those Ugandan diaspora returnees recognized for their outstanding contributions both at home and abroad. If you know of any outstanding Ugandans that deserve recognition please inbox us so we can include them on our shortlist for this or next year’s awards: Our fully revamped event website is now live — We shall also be hosting our 3rd annual Uganda Diaspora Business Breakfast at Kampala Serena Hotel’s Katonga Hall from 9am – 1pm on December 29th and the main event — Our 6th annual Diaspora Social Networking Gala, which will take place at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Victoria Ballroom – Friday, December 30th 2016 starting at 6pm.

Finally the world mourned one of the greatest sports athletes of our time, Muhammad Ali, as he was known the world over,  saw his greatness transcend his sport. He boasted he was “The Greatest,” and in the prime of his charismatic career, many agreed. But as brilliant as Muhammad Ali was in the ring, perhaps his true greatness was outside it when he fought the United States government. His refusal to accept induction into the armed forces on religious grounds cost him millions and his heavyweight title, but in the end Ali came up victorious in the most significant battle of his life as ESPN rightly quoted!

God bless.
— 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 this race is going to be interesting but Im prayimg that DP emerges victorious. Back home, I had the disappointment of my life. Janet in that big office. Education is delt a blow i dont know when and where Janate did her school practice from but graduated as a teacher on 1st May, 2004.

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