James William Mugeni
USA—22, June 2020: Editor, Covid-19 continues unearthing the true colors of some Ugandans who seem bent on using these unfortunate moments to make deals. Whereas there could be some Ugandans genuinely stranded and need emergency response, not all of us are stranded. Of the 170,000 Ugandans who are said to be living in USA, there could be perhaps a few but this should not give the foreign ministry to make generalized statement on us.
We are organized and have support organizations that nobody should present us as destitutes.
I am writing this article with confidence as a council member representing the Central Plains of America comprising four States: Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska and would like to challenge those making these claims to come out and dispute.
Ugandans in the diaspora should be likened to some form of an offshore investment that should be ready to save Uganda in this crisis. It is so sad that we are mixing up things here. We are failing to identify the Ugandans in need. If Uganda has 170,000 Ugandans in the United States, then Uganda is lucky. These are hard-working people in these developed economies who should be a source of comfort and reassurance that Uganda will require for post Covid-19 recovery.
Why are we presenting them as destitutes?
Uganda has organized communities in America which form pilgrim destinations for government of Uganda year in year out. Include in America we have Buganda Bumu North American Association, Busoga Twegaite, Adhola Wiloka, Banyakigezi diaspora, Batooro community and many others.
Who is stranded in America and where? Now is the time for the diaspora Ugandans to show solidarity with our mother Uganda, if anything. I do not see how we should be helped here other than us extending a hand up.
Buganda Kingdom had a function in 2019 in America that saw a delegation of over 100 people led by the Katikiiro of Buganda come to Washington for a convention attended by over 1000 people.
The highly powered delegation from Buganda Kingdom officials came; saw Baganda who swore in as the new Buganda government representatives in North America. These had earlier been appointed that year. The new Buganda Bumu North American officials oversee activities of Buganda Kingdom in the United States. This implies no Muganda can get stranded in USA. The sworn in officials are tasked to oversee.
- Buganda Kingdom development activities in America
- Socio-Economic Developments in Buganda
- Empowerment and Collaboration of Youth in Diaspora and back home in Buganda
- BBNAC future Medical Missions in Buganda
- Buganda Land Board
- Health and Wellness and organized Health Fair to screen interested individuals on health matters.
- BBNAC Member Associations makes efforts to teach Luganda language, Culture, and other essential skills to the youth.
The year 2019 also had the government of Uganda attend a UNAA convention. The delegation which included Members of Parliament, Cabinet Ministers, and other dignitaries headed by Honourable Ruth Nankabirwa came to the Uganda North American Association convention in Chicago. These also oversaw an election of which I am an elected member of the Council representing Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas.
America has funding opportunities for all communities that are registered and regardless of country of origin. Why are we always having guys who find opportunities to squeeze money out of Uganda besides these critical situations?
Speaker of Parliament has also led a delegation to the Busoga Twegaite, delegates from Uganda is endless. The Acholi Community, Lango Community, name them all.
We are deep in planning a convention in San Francisco come September and we are talking of stranded Ugandans? This convention plan has both Ugandans in the diaspora and Ugandans at home. Are we serious to talk of any stranded Ugandan in America?
I have so far registered one Covid-19 case that we have taken care of as a community and she has recovered.
In USA, no Ugandan can be stranded with these organizations around. So painful to see people cutting deals out of us moreover using the Ugandan Embassy in Washington. Here, there are numerous funding opportunities.
With such opportunities, we have ourselves to blame. We have organized ourselves into so many hate groups in the diaspora, a very unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in the diaspora.
Of interest, Uganda government through the Ugandan Embassy gives Uganda North America Association what is called a Constituency Development Fund. Where are the constituencies and what development is this fund about? Why would any Ugandan be stranded anywhere in America with this funding and with the many Ugandan community organizations?
How I wish we were developing constituencies of the diaspora in Uganda. Kudos to the Buganda Kingdom, trying to reach out to Baganda. It will be a shame if we shall have Ugandans getting caught up with children who might belong nowhere in this wave of racial profiling.
We should be developing diaspora villages in Uganda for our diaspora families since our origins are well defined by the community groups we try to identify with.
It is high time we also considered oscillating these so-called American conventions in Uganda as well. This will ensure that we get Ugandan Americans to travel to Uganda. Travel to America by delegations from Uganda is just an extravaganza that promotes high handedness of Uganda delegations. Uganda instead benefits America. We need to re-think this.
The author is a Medical Clinical Officer/Certified public Manager