UNAA moves to expel councilor Mugeni for exposing its weaknesses, “secrets”

UNAA official logo. Courtesy.

“I am hearing the same talk. But, I am not bothered.” Mugeni.

Kampala – 3, June 2021: Uganda North America Association (UNAA) will decide whether to retain James William Mugeni as its member or show him the exit door.

On 23, May 2021, UNAA Executive Secretary, Lambert Etibot wrote a letter to UNAA Board of Trustees (BoT) and the Association President, Henrietta NairubaWamala in which he accused Council Member James Mugeni of “various misconducts” – including, creating and sharing material on social media and other media intended to undermine UNAA as an organization, among others.

In the missive titled “Petition for Immediate Disciplinary Action against Council Member James Mugeni,” he wrote:

“I hereby submit this petition for your review and prompt action. Councilor James Mugeni has shown that he is unfit to be in Leadership, his intentions are not to grow UNAA as an Organization but to damage the reputation of UNAA and his conduct against the Organization and the Leaders that volunteer to serve this great Organization should be addressed.”

According to Etibot, “it is hard to overstate the importance of reputation to a nonprofit such as UNAA. Our members and sponsors want to feel good about the organization they subscribe to and give to. Volunteers (Leaders) prefer to work for an organization they trust and can talk about with enthusiasm. This is not the case today with UNAA, since some Members within Leadership are engaging in slander and sharing of incorrect information just to fulfill their agendas”.

The Executive Secretary added that councilor James Mugeni has “written many articles on blogs and newspapers, slandering UNAA with incorrect and false information”.

“He has abused and defamed leaders on the leadership chat group without remorse or apology. This disparagement will cost the organization its reputation and cause members to lose trust in the organization…Your consideration of this petition will be appreciated and will save the reputation of the organization from further damage.” his petition to the BOT Chaired by John Agaba reads further.

In response to the complaint, on 1 June 2021, John Agaba wrote to the Chairman of UNAA Rules and Disciplinary Committee regarding Lambert’s petition.

Supposedly, his letter followed a May 26, 2021 BoT meeting, in which they considered the complaint against Mugeni.

“At this meeting, the BOT, in a unanimous vote decided to forward Mr. Etibot’s complaint to UNAA Rules and Disciplinary Committee for review and judgement by June 25, 2021, pursuant to UNAA Articles/Bylaws, Articles 3.6. and Rules and Disciplinary Guidelines.”

“We request that you commence your review of this complaint as soon as possible, and we look forward to your judgement report by June 25, 2021.” Read the BoT letter

Asked by TND News on Tuesday about reports that they could expel him from UNAA, Councilor Mugeni said: “I am hearing the same talk. But, I am not bothered.”

“I have offended nobody. If you are a crook (dishonest person), and I call you out, that is not an offense”.

“In one of the attachments, I saw the Secretary quote me as calling BoT members idiots. Well, of late, they have been behaving that way. Without sound reasons, they have blocked the independent UNAA Electoral Commission (EC) from organizing a free and fair election. They continue to insist on having onsite elections during a COVID 19 pandemic!It’s now about two months to the UNAA Convention in Cincinnati, and the EC is yet to publish election guidelines.

The BoT have completely abdicated their oversight role of the Executive. For example, they continue to sit by and watch as the Executive Secretary interferes with the UNAA membership registration system, and they have never asked for a budget or an expenses report from the President of UNAA.

Yes, they are idle idiots. That shouldn’t be taken as an offense. It’s an accurate characterization – they should embrace it.  Truth must be told,” he sounded.

“To leave UNAA a better association than I found it, it is going to take some of us to risk and even sacrifice ourselves. We want to make UNAA an all-embracing organization and progressive organization for Ugandans in North America, and not an extension of the dictatorship of the Uganda government” he added.

According to him, funding to UNAA from the government of Uganda makes the regime dictate how their money is utilized.

In March this year, Mugeni said UNAA has collapsed and must be de-registered.

“He is one Councilor I know who will tell you the truth. Expelling him from the Association, as is most likely going to happen, will never stop information leakage to the media. So many members are not happy with the current UNAA leadership, especially, the BoT and how they are handling the upcoming elections,” a top Executive of Association, told this publication on condition of anonymity.

Asked how he sees this ending for him, Mugeni says he is taking UNAA to the court of public opinion. “I have been part of the system for a while now. I will continue to expose them and their crooked ways. I will also expose the impact Uganda has on UNAA” he says.

“If they want to shut me up, they have only one choice. Change their ways, and start doing the right thing.” Mugeni concluded.

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