Starting August 15, 2022, through the first week of September, Ugandans around the world will be spoilt for choice because this window of about two weeks will packed with three conventions on the US Pacific Coast, with a potential fourth gathering in Uganda American Entertainment, if it can beat the odds.
Contrary to popular belief, all Ugandan Diaspora Conventions in North America are incurring huge losses and with this fact it’s difficult to dismiss a deeply held belief in North America that some gatherings are proxies to weaken some organizations.
UNAA was the first to announce the US West Coast City of San Francisco as the venue for its 34th annual convention which was supposed to be held there in 2020 but Covid disrupted the plans.
UNAA Causes then decided to head back to Las Vegas for its 9th annual expo whereas San Francisco and Las Vegas are just an eight hours drive apart.
National Unity Platform also joined the fray by taking its second annual Patriots Day retreat to Los Angeles in mid August, two weeks ahead of the two bitter rivals.
This is already a crowded field although with different demographics but the formation of a new group in Uganda American Entertainment Gala (UAE) is drawing more scrutiny.
UAE’s choice of Los Angeles within close proximity of both UNAA Causes and UNAA on the same dates has already been criticized on some diaspora forums, but what is going under the radar is their potential disruption of the NUP retreat in mid August.
Without a deep analysis, it’s easy to assume that UAE may encroach on a section of UNAA Causes supporters but a close look at its formation points to a different direction.
Both NUP and UAE are promoting events in Los Angeles two weeks apart, this is a definite headache for NUP as it dilutes the allure of Los Angeles by splitting the audience into two camps.
Also UAE is dominated by vocal NUP supporters, at-least five out of the 8 founding members are very vocal and active NUP supporters whereas the UAE gala has already deprived NUP of it’s mobilizers.
Issa Kawooya, UAE’s chairman is a well known NRM supporter and he is public about it.
NUP supporters are very vocal and invested in their mission, the circumstances that would move them away from their NUP mission deserves more scrutiny.
To dominate Labor Day Weekend you need the likes of Afrigo Band, Sheebah and more big names but UAE has no big stars, in the absence of the big stars we can’t dismiss the argument that they are a proxy for someone.
Could UNAA be behind the formation of UAE to fight UNAA Causes? This can’t be dismissed but If this was to be true, UNAA is also vulnerable because the presence of NUP and UAE gatherings in Los Angeles definitely will affect attendance in San Francisco and with UNAA’s average entertainment offering, the belief that they would benefit from UAE is presence is a stretch.
If you UAE beats the odds to hold a gathering this year, the NUP retreat is the most vulnerable.
UAE has been making the case in the community that for them it’s about business and entertainment but their choice of Labour Day Weekend is very suspect.
To host a gathering on that weekend, you have to compete with UNAA’s $ 100,000 grant from the Ugandan government on top of the privately held but well funded UNAA Causes, this means the business argument is a smokescreen.
Also the closeness of UAE’s Issa Kawooya to several NRM surrogates in North America can’t be ignored plus the lack of any known deep pocket member on his team leaves many questions unanswered.
The question we are looking for answers is, why are NUP diehards joining a well known NRM supporter in Issa Kawooya instead of focusing on the NUP retreat ?