UNAA, a non-profit organization registered in the state of Massachusetts USA is just another version of Ugandans taken out of a Ugandan street and planted in America.
By James William Mugeni
Editor, when it comes to UNAA, you would like to see a Joseph sold into slavery by his brothers turn out to be a saviour to his family when he finally answers the cry of his family that had been hit with famine in Egypt.
One would expect this would be the final call for Ugandans who live in America when things fail at home on their brothers and sisters, but this is not the case. UNAA, a non-profit organization registered in the state of Massachusetts USA is just another version of Ugandans taken out of a Ugandan street and planted in America.
The mission of UNAA which was to bring together Ugandans living in North America and provide a platform on which they can network, share experiences and maintain the positive aspects of Ugandan culture and the abundant opportunities of their new home which is America is a farfetched dream. With well-set paper objectives UNAA is just as Ugandan as Uganda can be, what you see happen in Uganda in University elections like Gulu, Makerere and other Universities as in centers of academia is happening in America.
The UNAA objectives below are falsehood sanctioned on paper. The objectives below which allow registration in America as a none government organization are basically used to defraud both Uganda and America. The objectives below allow the conventions in which we normally see the Uganda members of parliament and other government executives of all colors travel to USA for days of extravaganza. Because of this exaggerated travel and indulgences government of Uganda spends much needed dollars at home for this annual convention. As a stake holder government greedy people have systematically weighed in to influence and destroy UNAA objectives whose original purpose were:
· To enable, stimulate and promote acquaintance, friendship and unity among Ugandans in North America by promoting social and cultural activities and interaction within and between our local communities and across the continent.
· To address the needs and challenges peculiar to our members by promoting co-operative efforts and developing strategic partnerships with philanthropic, cultural, educational, economic empowerment and other social service organizations.
· To increase awareness and facilitate access to the gainful exploitation of educational, entrepreneurial and employment opportunities in North America through better networking, training and other innovative programs.
· To build partnerships with key stakeholders that will facilitate the growth of cultural, philanthropic, economic and educational interests between the peoples of Uganda and North America.
· To promote and protect our unique Ugandan cultural identity through regular social and cultural activities.
· To counsel and advise relevant governments on policies and regulations affecting UNAA membership.
Sad to say that these not so clear objectives have been reduced to partying, merry making heavily influenced by evil men and women from Uganda. UNAA conventions are a time of the year where those with political clout and financial muscle come to dine and wine casting this image of a loose conduct club. It is also a time to reward and enthrone those whose election is basically engineered from Kampala.UNAA whose membership is now not known registers new members for 50 dollars and renews membership for 20 dollars and with a population going into hundreds of thousands has turned into a useless organization whose objects is not helping Ugandans in the foreign land.UNAA has totally been reduced to a fraud laden organization that can’t organize its growing population both by birth and immigration. You mention UNAA and all that comes before you is a Ugandan American registered none government organization that is a Uganda grafted in America. A group of people fighting for dollars siphoned from Uganda through corruption.
We now have an election coming in September this year in Chicago a free and fire election is a dream. A manipulated voter registration, corruption, voter disfranchisement and short of deploying the police and military that we see in Uganda our homeland. Ugandans have weighed in to destroy their foreign population that would be a dollar source if carefully tapped. This population that potentially sends in 2billion dollars to Uganda annually would better be organized. You are sure with functional systems and opportunities available the Ugandan population overseas should offer hope other than be a source of future confusion. Government chief whip, speaker of Uganda parliament and many others are names that are being mentioned what sense is there in fighting for your slaving population not to rescue but as another conduit for wasting your hard earned tax payers money? Can’t we organize ourselves as the diaspora population? Ghana has just tapped in to use its diaspora population in development at home why can’t we learn from these great examples?
Ugandans are not embarrassed handing in us new comers to work for Indians, Chinese yet they claim to help us room in. I have been in America for 3 years now navigating through the murky waters on my own only to register my new membership to a confused group of people. Whereas registration is voluntary where is my Ugandaness? Let us have functioning systems saved somewhere as our back up
Having knowledge of how a 501(c)(3) none profit organization is supposed to run as a newly registered member I will leave no stone unturned everybody is talking of transparency; everyone is talking of accountability we want to see this. Those who want to lead us stand warned. UNAA is the largest non-political formal association of Ugandans in the Diaspora. Our organization aims to promote the social, cultural and economic development of the Ugandan Community in North America and beyond. The Ugandan Community in North America numbers over 120,000 individuals.
The writer is a Certified Public Manager/Medical Clinical Officer