CALIFORNIA — Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs Amb Abbey Walusimbi on weekend presided over the swearing in ceremony of Ugandan Community in California, United States.
Susan Kwizera was sworn in as President for a second term while Joseph Ssekajjugo Bukombe who is the community Vice President and Elijah Rukidi-Mpuuga the new Secretary General have started their first term of office.
The Swearing-in ceremony was held at Jaliz Cuisine of East Africa gardens in Los Angeles, California.
Amb. Walusimbi congratulated Kwizera in her reelection and urged her to serve wholeheartedly.
Walusimbi assured the community members that government has created a conducive environment in form of tax waivers and incentives that favor investment back home.
He said his office has been working closely with a number of agencies including Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs, NIRA, URA and different diplomatic missions alongside all other Diaspora stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the challenges faced by diaspora community.
On heavy taxation, he said URA has committed to actively working with diaspora leadership and all stakeholders to guarantee a sustainable and fair taxation policy regardless of Creed and political affiliations.
“I know that many of you here have faced innumerable challenges in obtaining National IDs and renewing your travel documents, however this will soon be resolved. We are working hand in hand with NIRA and other citizenship stakeholders to facilitate the opening of a NIRA office here in California which will definitely ease your lives”, he said.
He said the essence of setting up the office of the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora affairs was to reduce on the bureaucracy that was involved in tabling issues of Ugandans living and working abroad, hence there is no need to hesitate when you have pressing issues because this is the route you have to directly get the President’ s attention in the shortest time possible
“Before we subscribe to any interest groups be it cultural or political, we must always remember that we are Ugandans first and our first duty is to our motherland. Therefore, we all have a right to an opinion but I urge you not to let our peer opinions stand in the way of serving our country, because this is where our children and great grand children will derive their identity” he said.
On her part, Kwezira appreciated Amb. Walusimbi for taking off time to grace the ceremony as part of his efforts to organize and build strong communities of diasporas.
Kwizera who secured a second term office after her close contenders pulled dout of the race at last minute said her leadership is determined to focus on community development.
“Let us compromise all that we can so that we can all work together and steer our community beyond ethnic cells, beyond political caucuses” she said, calling for unity amongst the community.
Kwizera commended members including one Olivia Kasozi, Eddriss Kironde and religious leaders for supporting and ensuring a credible election exercise.
Bishop Azaria Turyomunsi officiated at the inauguration ceremony and encouraged the leaders to work together as a team and promote unity.