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Two Ugandans in tight race for UNAA top seat

by Editorial Team
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By Ritah Mukasa

As the tenure of Henrietta Nairuba Wamala, the current president of the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA), comes to a fruitful end, two candidates are warming up to replace her. 

These include Lambert Etibot, an IT consultant, and Patrick Ogwang, a businessman.

Wamala has been at the helm of UNAA since 2019 and has served for two terms. 

The constitution prohibits her from contesting again.

A source who preferred anonymity intimated that Etibot, who is UNAA’s outgoing executive secretary, has close ties with Wamala, and Ogwang is close to former UNAA president Monday Atigo. This election hinges on collaborations and coalitions.

“The campaigns are somewhat hot, but from the look of things, Etibot is the people’s favorite thanks to his strong vision and work ethic,” the source says.

Meanwhile, UNAA is the oldest diaspora association that brings together Ugandans in North America and their friends. It aims to promote the social, cultural, and economic development of the Ugandan community in North America and beyond.

The vote will take place at the association’s annual convention, scheduled for September 3, 2023, in Dallas, Texas. The 35th Annual UNAA Convention and Trade Expo will be held in Dallas, Texas, from September 1–4, 2023, at the Hilton Anatole.

Baker Mulimira, a resident of Dallas, says he has been following the activities of UNAA and the previous leadership. He opines that the association needs a leader who is honest, vibrant, humble, intelligent, and flexible. 

“Etibot has all those qualities and more.” “His leadership has also been tested, and most importantly, he has a strong vision that will propel UNAA to greater heights,” he says.

Patrick Ogwang

Etibot’s vision is to fully transform UNAA into a self-reliant entity and to ensure that the association continues to grow its membership and its programs. 

“UNAA will have a greater impact on its members as a service-driven, value-based non-profit organization, and this will ensure continuity on its progressive path,” Etibot says, adding that “I will achieve this goal through honest, credible, transparent, and experienced leadership.”

Relatedly, Elvis H. Nsereko, the association’s treasurer, who is also seeking reelection, says Etibot is honest, reliable, and transparent in all his doings.

“I have confidence in him to steer UNAA in the right direction, especially with the new ideas he has tabled. “He will take UNAA beyond conventions,” he anticipates.

Nsereko is a financial consultant with over 16 years of experience in finance and accounting and has lived in the USA for nine years. 

Others in the race include Joan Bavuga, who is seeking reelection as vice president; Shantal Mbabazi, for executive secretary; Cyrus Mukisa, for male youth representative; and Hope Nancy, for female youth representative.

Nsereko adds that, as UNAA candidates, they stand for fair debates and discussions. They oppose discrimination based on race, color, spiritual belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, and origin.

About the expo

Mulimira says the expo will be packed with business and family-friendly activities for all age groups. The vendors’ exhibition hall will have entrepreneurs showcasing a variety of authentic products from local and international sources as well as services such as banking, real estate, finance, and investment, among others. 

“Participants should gear up for great networking and social experiences with real-time updates on convention activities,” he says.

The nightlife will also come alive with the best entertainment from a lineup of local and international entertainers, cultural performers, and DJs.

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