Ugandans in Diaspora have received news of the reappointment of Hajji Abbey Walusimbi as Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs and Ambassador at Large with wild jubilation.
The President on Wednesday released a list of newly appointed and re-appointed Senior Presidential Advisors. Among those reappointed was ambassador Walusimbi, the man who is said to have worked well on matters affecting Ugandans abroad.
“The facts are clear and everyone can testify to this. We were really suffering and bogged down with bureaucracies as Ugandans in Diaspora, until the President appointed a person who knows very well what we go through. Our suffering had made many of our people turn against government.” says Musa Ssekabira, a Ugandan living in Finland.
Like Ssekabira, many Ugandans in Diaspora had deliberately chosen to oppose government on grounds that it wasn’t minding about their plight. In Europe, for example, some Ugandans had allegedly started joining the opposition on grounds that President Museveni wasn’t caring about them.
“You can’t tell me that you can have a whole government which doesn’t have a special desk to handle the affairs of its people living abroad. Who doesn’t know how much we contribute to this nation in terms of taxes and direct remittances? Although embassies are in place, but they have limitations and their own challenges.” Added Annet Naikoba who lives in California.
She said that ever since President Museveni appointed Walusimbi, many Ugandans have had their issues handled without sectarianism and this has somehow reduced opposition activism among them. She said those who are still active are only doing it to get funds from whites and sometimes for accountability purposes.
Naikoba attributed this new state of affairs in the Diaspora to Walusimbi whom she described as calm, and down to earth whose approach to service is extremely patriotic.
She added that “From Turkey to South Africa, Europe, Asia or even Nairobi itself, no body doesn’t know Walusimbi. He has popularised that office and made things possible for many of us. We really thank the President for the decision to keep Hajji around. We expect more from him’.
Brenda Namuyiga, one of the Ugandans Ambassador Walusimbi rescued from her employer in Saudi Arabia, says that ever since he got involved in the Labour Externalization sector, many of them have been brought back home with dignity and even the companies are caring more about them. We understood that more than 850 Ugandan migrant workers have been facilitated by the OP/Diaspora Affairs to return home from Saudi Arabia, UAE and other Gulf countries.
Walusimbi, who’s also the chairman NRM Diaspora League is said to have utilized his office to attract for the NRM many supporters through diligent service and has been ferrying them to meet the President to address their issues and discuss potential business.
In addition, he is credited for having sourced many investors for the president, including international celebrities like Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam aka Akon who has promised to set up a huge city (Akon City) in Uganda. The singer has frequented Uganda since 2021 and was offered 600 acres of land on which he’s going to construct that magnificent futuristic city.
Contacted for a comment on this story, Walusimbi showed gratitude to President Museveni for reappointment, something he said was a sign of trust the fountain of honour has in him. He also commended Ugandans in the Diaspora for their cooperation with his office and the support rendered to him and his team. He promised to utilize his fresh mandate to address more Diaspora issues and attract more people to NRM through service, advocate for more policies & services to benefit Ugandans in Diaspora, and also bring in more Diaspora investors.
“My main focus now is to encourage Ugandans to invest back home. I believe that if Uganda Investment Authority and URA can give better investment incentives to foreign investors, our Ugandans who want to invest in our country should have even better packages. This is going to be one of my areas of focus so that our people can be encouraged to start businesses here. Uganda is safe, secure, and ready to take off into a Middle Income economy” he said.
He added that he also intends to attend to issues of other countries’ Diaspora living in our country and ensure they feel at home.
“This way, they can act as protectors of our Diaspora living in their countries” he noted.
He reiterated that he further intends to use the mandate of his office to continue efforts to streamline the labour externalization program alongside other government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“Uganda is our motherland and we all have a duty towards its development. Let’s do this together” he concluded.