TNDQuestions: Natoolo’s defeat at UNAA 33rd Convention with Mugeni
Kampala, Uganda – 7, September 2021: The Uganda North America Association (UNAA) held its 33rd Convention from 4, September 2021 to 6 in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America.
Thousands of Ugandans in the Diaspora and a delegation from Uganda graced the three-day event. From fanfares to networking, one key agenda was elections of new executives, and focus was on who would take the association’s presidency.
Natoolo was highly expected to win under TeamUnity, and her supporters, like James William Mugeni, had hoped so. However, it ended in tears: a common maxim presently spoken.
Today, Milton EmmyAkwam asks Mugeni about what Natoolo’s loss means, and the future of UNAA under the same top leadership. Below are our conversations:
Qn: Wamala has been reelected, something you are calling ‘selected’. Who selected her and how about UNAA’s future under her?
Mugeni: Very oblique. I don’t know if the future should be UNAA personally. They saved me from the pain of being humiliated in Cincinnati, Ohio. The world knows I was not on the ballot and my name removed even from the voters’ register. I accepted my face to be on the poster of team unity, but had no conviction. Three days of fanfare cannot give Uganda leadership.
Musicians from Gulu to be handed envelopes, they extended those envelopes to us in Cincinnati, Ohio and by the way, it was nice seeing so many Ugandans in a fanfare but not an election.
I can tell you without a shadow of doubt; there is no dignity in begging for money from politicians including Museveni, Salim Saleh and the entire gang of Museveni’s network of corrupt friends. Begging them is now what gives them some form of purpose for their continued existence.
Dignity comes from the pride of one’s honest labor. But as you will learn in the future, they will continue to steal your land, displace, kill your people and give you tokens for turning your children into destitute because you have refused to listen to your prophets.
We are just an extension of Ugandans, but in America.
Qn: You campaigned for Lydia Natoolo, she lost. To many, she was the face of the new UNAA. What’s your message to her?
Mugeni: Lydia Natoolo represents a familiar epic story which is synonymous with the struggles and aspirations of the Diasporas. A girl child rising from oblivion through unparalleled odds, she is a paragon of resilience and good nature. She doesn’t have the DNA which defines the hyenas that seek to siphon funds from Uganda.
She loves all Ugandans suffering from destitution, yet with a humble heart. Lydia is well on her long, arduous and rewarding journey, which will see her unite over 120,000 Ugandans into a formidable active mass which values competence, efficiency and the ability to overcome obstacles and adverse conditions. So with Lydia, not everything is lost.
Qn: What would happen if Natoolo had won, and what about if Wamala had lost?
Mugeni: Natoolo’s loss is a win for the people. Her momentary drawback is not a loss, but a disturbing inconvenience for the people.
Three days of fanfare cannot give Ugandans leadership, but a random shell of pretenders. The brown envelopes that were extended from Kampala to Cincinnati, Ohio, cannot scare away a determined leader of Lydia’s caliber. You are seeing the approaching headlamps of Natoolo not witnessing the fading tail lights of Lydia.
UNAA is so divided and government of Uganda has perpetrated the division. For now, what Lydia Natoolo would embark on would be to unite the Diaspora. We are a sizeable community that can achieve so much. Nonprofit organizations are skills based; they run on philanthropy and the common good for man. It is about relationships; it is about humanism, something the current UNAA is not about. UNAA ought to be a diplomatic mission, but the way we go for each other’s necks is terrible. We are in a survival for the fittest contest. We are brutal; we fleece ourselves.
Qn. You were vocal for the betterment of the association, something Wamala, Agaba and Etibot never liked of you. These are the people to oversee UNAA for next years. What is in your mind right now?
Mugeni: My mind is thinking about the greater role the over 120,000 Diasporas can undertake to develop Uganda. I think about the well-meaning members of Ugandans in North America and Canada whose aspirations they have sold off at the price of lungs!
But we shall not relent. Ultimate victory belongs to the vigilant and with it the freedom of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters back home.
I would love to know the story of Wamala and who does it inspire? Lydia Natoolo wants to lift us up.