By Abbey Walusimbi
It’s very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to travel and meet many of you that support and endears themselves to the NRM Diaspora League and NRM.
With the 2016 Ugandan General Elections due next year and where over 10 million Ugandans are expected to choose members of Parliament and a President, both the opposition and those in power tend to outdo the other before the D-day.
Some of the underlying points of engagements we hope to sensitize our donors and prospective investors or multinational companies that Uganda’s global competiveness must not be connected to one’s sexual orientation.
With the Gay Act now being law of the land Uganda, prohibiting anyone promoting homosexuality in the country, some Western countries will be targeting some government officials to deny them visas and some Ugandan nationals have already fallen victims, notables, Metropolitan Police Commander, who was expected in the USA to attend a course.
Another Ugandan lady legislator was also denied a chance to accept an award in USA even though she did not vote on the law. The opposition in Uganda is also doing overtime but pinned between a rock and a hard wall as most will stay in the closet on gay issues. However, they, members of the opposition, are secretly adding their voices urging donors to cut off aid meant for Ugandans using the homosexuality law with the hope that the NRM lead government will collapse.
What can defeat NRM at the polls come 2016 is NRM. That is why the NRM Diaspora will work overtime to see that we do not defeat ourselves at the polls. Our internal squabbles are minor compared to the external opposition NRM might face. Our desire is to keep internal fighting to the minimum; we can disagree without being belligerent.
A large number from NRM Diaspora league mainly from United Kingdom, Americas and the Nordics led by chairman Abbey Walusimbi, has drawn up a master plan to not only counter external hostility, but the misunderstanding from within – ensuring cohesion before 2016 general elections.
Edriss Kironde warned that we need to be cognisant of all forces that want to see NRM collapse and the most lethal could be friendly fire. Adding that much as NRM provides a bridge for all, be wary of those camouflaging as NRM cadres and especially in the Diaspora.
On its Global Tour, NRM Diaspora League, among others, reiterates the following:
- Support a resolution by the NRM Parliamentarian Caucus backing the NRM Chairman as the solitary flag bearer for Presidency come 2016. This will save the party from creating divisions within the party and face opposition with a unified front. – NB, The Ugandan Prime Minister Rt. Hon Patrick Amama Mbabazi and SG NRM, is signatory to the resolution. At the end of the day, however, the National Executive Committee (NEC) has the final say.
- Equip the NRM Diaspora with knowledge how to respectively respond to Western nations on the laws concerning homosexuality and above all respect each other’s’ cultural values. Look into possibilities of establishing Cultural Centres in Uganda to educate respective Western national about the African culture while Africans too learn more about foreign cultures, where possible team with world universities to increase student cultural exchanges.
- Commercial: enhancing relations with foreign nations where NRM cadre live or work, with the aim of eventually leading trade missions in those countries interesting their nationals to invest in Uganda, creating employment for fellow nationals. While meeting with the NRM delegates in Stockholm, Sweden this April, its District introduced to the gathering what they have been doing in creating income generating projects for party activities. He presented a proposal for garlic, not only do they generate income, but provide employment for Uganda and an already market of r Ugandan produces abroad.
- Creating private schemes that will generate income to finance NRM activities and possibly fund other party financial needs.
- It has been unanimously agreed to have an NRM Diaspora delegate’s conference in London, England to meet with the party Chairman Mzee Museveni and other senior party leaders. NRM Diaspora Members chose London because of its centrality.
In all meetings, NRM Diaspora Chairman, Abbey Walusimbi, has been reminding gatherings that the NRM Diaspora League has two cardinal supporters who have been, and are pillars for our existence all along, viz-a-vis: The NRM national chairman H.E President Museveni and the NRM Secretary General, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, and we thank them for the unwavering support.
Therefore, the Kyankwanzi resolution should be a uniter and not a divider and regardless which district supports which candidate, an NRM flag bearer will need the support from all the districts in Uganda to be a national leader.
We must respect all our leaders who have unified the party all along and let us rally behind all cadres and come elections, and for the government to function, the president will need as many members of parliament as possible. If internal squabbles escalate to higher levels, NRM majority in the house will be reduced.
Series of events were kicked off in Boston on March 23rd 2014 and since then the NRM Diaspora leaders have been on global tour to United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and covered some States in the USA sensitising NRM cadres in California, Colorado, Illinois and Washington DC. Such tours are including meetings with NRM cadres and engage in popular Diaspora radio talk shows and addressing conferences in the host cities.
At these meetings, the NRM leaders in the Diaspora have called for the mutual respect for the Uganda’s culture and sovereignty as the country strives to preserve its culture and social values. They have emphasised that aid goes to the ordinary people and not to the legislators who have enacted the legislation and that “withdrawing aid from the country will only hit and hurt the poor”, said Walusimbi.
They have also welcomed Hon Richard Todwong’s message that there is no contradiction between Hon. Mbabazi the prime minister and president Museveni and are working together as have been doing so for 3 decades.
The NRM USA Mobiliser, Ken Ddamba Masogalaba affirmed that as has been, the NRM Diaspora will continually take the bull by the horn in informing the world of the achievements and programs for the ruling party in Uganda.
Other visits are at the moment planned for Canada, German, France, Japan, China, Malaysia, India, Botswana, South Africa and Nigeria. But also plans are underway for a conference with the NRM leadership both in the Diaspora and in Uganda.
According to Edriss Kironde, the Spokesperson of the NRM Diaspora League the group is also aiming to set up a web based radio station, a blog and a website that has a live chat room.
Edriss Kironde explains that the aim is to increase the visibility of NRM in the Diaspora, respond to emerging issues and counter the negativity that may be heaped on the NRM. “Communication has been a very thorny issue and dissemination of relevant issues information very difficult”, he explains.
At many of the events hosted so far, those attending have unanimously spontaneously passed resolutions endorsing president Yoweri Museveni as the unopposed NRM flag bearer come the 2016 presidential elections in Uganda.
“Our inspiration lies not in how long HE President Yoweri K Museveni has been in power but in what our nation has achieved since the NRM came to power under the guidance of our inspirational and visionary leader HE President Yoweri K. Museveni”, says Abbey Walusimbi, Chair of the NRM, Diaspora league.
The driver of the NRM Yellow Bus is still in good shape and it is our duty to make sure that the bus too, is in good shape and all parts intact and still attractable to passengers.
Other leaders in the group includes Edriss Kironde USA, Male Kamya-USA, Kennedy Burashe of USA, Godius Ayesigye -USA, Med Kasujja -Sweden, Diana Atim- Canada, Adam Kasambula -Sweden, Charles Inyoin -Sweden, Peter Mashate-UK, Dr. Keefa Kiwanuka -UK, Patrick Asiimwe -UK, Barbara Kakunda-UK, Dr. Yusuf Kyeyune-German, Noah Bukenya-USA, Charity Baira, Jacob Bamwenda-USA. Paul Lumunye-USA, Abdunur Ssempijja-South Africa, David Kabukuru-USA, Moses Kimuli-Ireland.
The writer is the National Chairman NRM Diaspora League