If success is measured by the turn out at a well-organized event in Marlboro Massachusetts – the organizers of this Katikiro Gala deserve a round of applause. The ambiance was perfect for a bugle call to bring back the sharpness that was once associated with Buganda of old.
Our honorable guests walked a well-rehearsed tight rope of being apolitical in a climate that had icons who were so used to asking bold and poignant questions to Ugandan leaders who visited Boston. The late Honorable Kategaya was once been asked by Bostonians to recite the NRM’s ten point program and to give account as to how far they’d come to fulfill its promise and when he answered arrogantly, he was booed.
Folks in Boston always felt duty bound to raise issues that seemed blatantly neglected by government and they were among the few who never shied away from holding members of the ruling class accountable and obsessed about the lack of fulfilling campaign promises made to the country, above all they never failed to elicit from authorities a sense of direction their beloved nation was being steered!
In attendance were our elders who’d given Ugandan Bostonians that tough no nonsense reputation and voice of authority–this time as if time had tempered their stance on political matters –they were kinder and gentler, more merciful to the gentleman from the “Totem of Hearts” and his inescapable charm honorable Katikiro Mayiga! He did not did not put Healthcare or Education first on his agenda nor did he talk about new ideas of industrialization or employment for the youth in his simple message.
As for the promise of being the Countries overseers of Democracy and the entire struggle to rescue Uganda from the 30 years despotic hold, this fight was not on his agenda nor was it front and center of this new Buganda tofali (Brick and Mortar) initiative at this successful gathering in Marlboro with a theme of “okuzza obumu” to bring oneness back to all our folks. “We want federo but we also want to move on – on other fronts that have lagged behind since the return of Buganda Kingdom” a statement that highlights his modest approach and style of non-confrontational leadership-that has brought him friends to contribute to his efforts from all over the country.
How does one manage to disarm a Samurai and convince them that it is in their best interest to give up their nation building sword and settle for a mere bouquet of flowers in a rather hostile environment–that is exactly the unenviable psychological and strategic tight rope that honorable Mayiga has been tasked to walk-unlike any of his predecessors!
To that end he has made no enemies in the country and some measurable success –there was no Question and Answer session during the entire period –so no one could fire off some burning political questions to stir the still waters. Many were appointed to positions of responsibility and leadership–as special appointees from the Palace, who would gather concerns of their fellow Ugandans in the Diaspora and table them to Buganda ministers of the Katikiro’s office.
What was clearly lacking in this exercise designed to organize some of the most able and smartest folks Uganda has, was a simple motivational speech from Mengo -which would have been directed towards those with interest beyond the simple collection of a bricks(Tofali) and the restoration of a Lake–folks who were prepared to bring new transformational ideas of change to a listening Buganda ear.
A down to earth address would have brought the house down and given hope to Buganda experts in the Diaspora, that there is room for their experience and expertise to bare in the affairs of rebuilding Buganda, we had seasoned technologists, CIO’s and other ordinary professional folks, ready to move at a lightning speed to bring investment companies and expertise capable of changing the employment fortunes of not only Buganda but the entire nation –they sat like everybody else in the audience and bit their tongues to a more simplistic idea of togetherness.
Whether you look at this as a missed opportunity or not, it all depends on what your expectations were, one thing for sure-we were not all so convinced that such baby steps being proposed were sufficient to make a huge dent in the enormous problems of unemployment, poverty, and lack of basic services, quality education and health services in Buganda.
By the end of the Kitikiro’s speech it was clear that he was moving at a different drummer’s tempo, in fact too slow to keep folks who have waited for a lifetime to see fast progressive, tangible change happen in Buganda.
Amidst undercurrent of fear, hopelessness from an over whelming compendium of chronic problems that continue to plague the largest tribe with a multitude of service woes and a whole bunch of folks steeped in abject poverty , are those completely disenchanted with the President’s desire to force yet an additional term of dictatorship.
For now the Buganda folks in Boston, in their ever polite style and manner of hospitality, had to put their best foot forward and were not about to shun the Kings representative, with their song and dance spirit they welcomed him in a majestic style, only reserved for welcoming one of their own and they contributed heavily towards his Tofali “Brick and Mortar” initiatives.
However, cries of floating a Buganda bond were echoed among attendees with the simple hope that a pound spent on Buganda bonds today had the potential of keeping children born to Ugandan parents in the diaspora ever interested in the management and Return on Investment of Buganda bonds bought for them which would come to maturity in 10, 15 or 30 years’ time.
Ugandan In Boston