PRESS RELEASE

Statement on Uganda Travel Advisory

03/02/2018

Dear Ugandans in the Diaspora,

As a community that often travels back home to visit family, engage in business ventures, and tourism among other reasons, the current trend of organized crime and mysterious death of foreigners and local residents in Uganda is very concerning. Gang related crime, armed robbery, home invasions, sexual assault and recently kidnapping is becoming a staple.

The growing security concerns in Uganda led to the United States Department of State to issue an “Exercise increased caution”  travel advisory for Uganda on 01/10/2018.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/uganda-travel-advisory.html  

To contribute constructively as Ugandans in the Diaspora while promoting tourism, foreign direct investment and reverse transfer of human capital to our country, it’s imperative that the environment on the ground is conducive and attractive to investors.

As UNAA President I will engage with other community leaders to deliver the concerns of our members to leaders in Uganda calling for effective and decisive action. However, there is nothing like absolute safety and crime is not only unique to Uganda. There steps we can take as individuals to safeguards ourselves.

Below are some measures to consider:

  • Don’t publicize your travel plans on social media and other platforms.
  • Travel with someone or in a group when in public.
  • Be careful what you eat/drink. Avoid leaving food unattended.
  • Have a contingency plan in case of emergencies.
  • Take more precaution when traveling at night.
  • Do your due diligence when looking for accomodation.

We shall continue monitoring the security situation in Uganda and keep our community members  informed. The intent is not to create mass hysteria but to find the right balance between the safety of our Diaspora community members and their families in Uganda while making sure the government takes concrete steps to curtail the insecurity that harms our country economically from the negative travel advisories.

Stay safe and enjoy your travels to Uganda.

Sincerely,

Dr. Daniel Kawuma

UNAA President

The State of UNAA

03/23/2018

Dear UNAA Members,

I would like to thank the New York Ugandan community and the team of Breaking Barriers for organizing a very informative and vibrant forum on Women’s Empowerment on March 17th at the Uganda House. This event opened our eyes to the wealth of talent among Ugandan Diaspora women and sparked a very engaging and thought provoking conversation on how more doors of opportunity can be opened as women in our community continue to break the glass ceiling.

We are also launching UNAA’s first of a kind Podcast channel. This platform is one of many projects to transform UNAA into a service based organization. This podcast will deliver timely information to our members from the newly established committees offering services such as legal immigration counsel, healthcare information, financial planning, investment guidance among other opportunities. Subscription to the UNAA podcast will be free of charge for all our community members.

As we continue the work of making UNAA’s presence felt in our communities, I understand why there may be a lot of anxiety among the membership because of the ongoing confusion caused by the assault against UNAA’s properties namely – bank accounts, our websites, social media accounts, and other communication tools.
This has caused a lot of misinformation among the membership, and in my capacity as your elected leader, after consulting with many of you including the 153 members that attended the recent town hall meeting and seeking legal counsel over the past several weeks, I have sought to put an end to this chaos by filing a court motion in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, where our organization is registered.

Like you, I am disappointed that it has come to this, yet it is important to remember how we got here to begin with.

I have taken every step that is laid out in the UNAA constitution and bylaws, including agreeing to abide by the decisions of the UNAA Board of Trustees or a neutral, independent, professional external third party arbitration process as called for in article 11.14 of the constitution and as reiterated on Sunday, February 25th 2018 by the letter from three UNAA founders, four former Presidents, four former Vice Presidents, and past leaders of the UNAA Council.

While I unconditionally submitted to this process, the former UNAA President Mr. Monday S. Atigo responded by deriding the founders and the initiative to resolve the current crisis diplomatically.

The unwillingness of the other side to come to the negotiating table – or even seek external arbitration left us with not very many good options – We could spend the next six months exchanging words over social media and in the newspapers, or we could make the responsible but painful decisions – take this to the courts of law where this issue can be settled once and for all.
For the good of UNAA, and to stop further bleeding that our organization has been subjected to, I have chosen the latter to bring clarity back to our organization. I have had to act decisively considering that the elected UNAA Treasurer Mr. Arthur Nantamu and the Board of Trustees have all been sidelined and have no access, oversight or knowledge who is currently collecting and managing UNAA funds.

I intend to stand firm in defense of our constitution and UNAA’s institutions. As the elected President I cannot in good faith run an organization and promote programs that collect money from hardworking Ugandans and tax payers from back home when I have no idea who is collecting and securing these funds. I made a promise to restore transparency and integrity in our organization and that promise shall be kept.

To help this cause, I have set up a legal fund https://www.gofundme.com/legal-fund-to-restore-order-in-unaa which every community member is encouraged to contribute to, irrespective of their position on the ongoing issue or who they supported in Miami, so that we can have clarity and resolve the ongoing leadership paralysis affecting the running of the organization – from Seattle Convention planning to soliciting Sponsors as well as registrations and contract payments to the various vendors. You can also contact me directly if you prefer.
UNAA work will continue and we are in the final stages of finalizing the committees that will coordinate initiatives to deliver tangible benefits to our community members. There is still room for more volunteers and you can join or invite others to sign up online using the instructions below.

1) Click this link to see the online Committee SignUp list : http://signup.com/go/zSSWyoS
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.

Thank you for the work you all do to impact the lives of our community members. If we work together we shall continue to build on the vision of UNAA’s founders 30 years ago to empower our people and grow the Ugandan Diaspora community.

I look forward to seeing you all in Seattle, WA.

Sincerely,

Dr. Busuulwa Daniel Kawuma
UNAA President and CEO
Phone: (651) 278-6724