This end of August, the Ugandan Community in USA will decide in Chicago as they elect the new Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) leadership.
Watchdog Uganda News’ Abbey Boris Mugerwa met with one of UNAA Executive Secretary candidates Abubaker Mulumba in a one to one interview.
Abubaker Mulumba was born on August 18, 1974 to the late Ally Billy Zizinga Nsimbe and Rehema Nakityo. Married with children, grew up in Mpigi district where his father was working as an accountant.
“I spent many years living with my dad who was a very strict disciplinarian that to date I can recall the many times he whipped me when I was going astray,” he stressed.
He went to Mpigi UMEA, Kyaggwe Road Primary School, Gombe SS (O-Level) and Pride Academy (A-Level) and later to ITEK Kyambogo for a diploma in journalism then worked with Kira Town Council as an accounts Clerk for four years.
In 2001, Abubaker joined The Daily Monitor as a sub-editor and graphics designer for the defunct Ngoma for three years.
He later joined The Observer where he worked as a graphics designer, a columnist as well as a reporter.
He owes his success in media to both THE late Kevin Aliro and Dr Sarah Namulondo as some of his mentors.
Abubaker relocated to the US where he is currently the Secretary General Uganda Muslim Association of California since 2014 as well as the speaker for the Lukiiko lw’Omubaka wa Kabaka Hawaii, Arizona, and Southern California.
Currently working as a behavioral therapist and pursuing a prerequisite course to become a nurse.
With his proven background working in various society positions has thus shaped him into a capable leader wishing to serve his Ugandan community in the US as an Executive Secretary in UNAA.
UNAA needs unity and what’s your take on that?
This is the biggest challenge ahead. But we are ready to battle it out. we have a plan together with my team that is led by John Julius Muwulya to sit with our brothers and sisters and show them what unity can bring to us and what disunity is bringing to us now.
If we handle it as we have it on paper UNAA in two to four years will be one.
There are speculations that you’re a People Power candidate. What’s your comment on that?
According to article 2.3: UNAA is an equal opportunity organization. It does not discriminate, for membership purposes, on the basis of race, color, religion, political affiliation, gender, age, handicap, marital status, sexual orientation, nationality or ethnicity. So as a custodian of UNAA records I can’t be the one to go against the constitution but as a person I might be supporting a particular party but that is for me and even those accusing me to be supporting People Power are also supporting other parties. In fact some of them are bitter that I didn’t join their parties. I will continue telling them that to take UNAA to where it used to be we must do away with politics. We must think as Ugandans who are away from home but still want to be attached.
I might disagree on some principals of how Uganda is governed and that must be my personal opinion and not for UNAA and so as a COO I must and I promise I will be nonpartisan as I have been in all my ways of executing my duties.
And whoever is having that mind of bringing politics to UNAA is wrong and we will not tolerate them. I pray that the romours going around that the government is already interfering with the election should not true because this should be nonpolitical as the US laws states.
Some of the problems we are facing today as UNAA are as a result of government interference as I hear past leaders pointing fingers to one another accusing one another of bringing the government on board.
Politicizing UNAA is one factor that has chased away most people from attending so I promise to see that we go back to the past where it was all about socializing, exchanging business ideas, cultural and religious.
But as it is now most people leave the convention wondering why they attended. I want to spearhead the bringing back the glory as it was before.
I will also see that our brothers and sisters outside the US come back and enjoy as they used to before things went wrong.
What will you bring on board?
As the Executive Secretary and the Chief Operation Officer of UNAA I will introduce a quarterly magazine with contributions from all states and beyond. This will keep people well versed with information from Ugandans all over the world. I want to take UNAA back to people not waiting for the convention as it is now.
Increase membership and Financial Independence
As the Executive Secretary and the Chief Operation Officer of UNAA, I should be able to spearhead the financial independence of the organization by mobilizing resources to support UNAA activities and the grassroots community in the different states. I plan to achieve this by lobbying private, corporate donors and good-hearted people to create a strong fund base.
Career Guidance and Mentorship
Majority of the immigrants come with above high school level education while those without, at least have trade skills and talents like plumbing, electrical skills, construction etc. however, they are put to waste since the U.S system does not recognize it which elicits immigrants to either settle with regular jobs or join college and start over to attain the United States formal education credentials.
For those that try to join college are faced with a complicated system with requirements like writing personal statements, pre-entry exams, and tests, pre-requisites, requisites as well as selecting the right program to satisfy their dreams and passion. This doesn’t only complicate immigrants’ college entry process but it in most cases discourages them hence shattering their career dreams.
My campaign seeks to close this gap through creating a partnership with Immigrant Guide a nonprofit organisation founded by our fellow Ugandan. Our mentorship program will help Ugandans in the diaspora navigate the complicated trade school and college entry process.
How are you going to revive the great spirit and patriotism of UNAA members?
I will be directly responsible with organizing the conventions; I will see that the organisation attracts all people without any discrimination of any affiliation. It will be based on what people want versus what the organisers want.
I am already lobbying the organisers to put in place a room for prayers that will be used on Friday for Muslims, Saturday Seventh Day and Sunday for Christians.
I already appointed myself to be the imam throughout the convention and after.
I presume that with all values of what people want and expect out of the executive and the council in four years UNAA will be shinning again.
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