Senior officials in the ruling party-NRM and government are making final touches to travel to Munich- Germany to attend the maiden NRM diaspora convention in Europe.
Dubbed EUROPEAN NRM DIASPORA CONVENTION 2022, the high class meeting is running under the theme ‘Caltivating a Future for Uganda for Sustainable Tourism, Youth/Women Economic Empowerment, Agro processing and Political Reconciliation.
According to the lead organiser of the convention, Lillian Ikulumet, many officials have confirmed attendance and the preparations are in full gear.
“This is a unique convention. It has been widely welcomed and I can assure you, many government representatives have confirmed attendance to the NRM diaspora convention. We’re moving on as per our plans. The convention is in full gear” she told this News site.
To prove how crucial the convention is and the level of interest government has in it, the organizers pushed it’s initial dates from July 1-3 to two weeks from now to allow most high level members to travel and attend it.
It should be recalled that the head of state Gen. YK Museveni last week ordered his ministers and MPs to camp in their constituencies for a few days and market the Parish Development Model Program. This is what is happening and partly explains why the organisers briefly postponed the meeting to allow all participants opportunity to attend.
“We didn’t want a situation where the convention affected the work of government as guided by the H.E the President. This is why we pushed it ahead for a few days to cater for those doing PDM work. We expect a big team from government who have confirmed” she said.
ABOUT THE CONVENTION
This first ever convention is aimed at addressing various issues faced by Ugandans in the diaspora and also to try to improve on government image in as far as observance of human rights is concerned.
Ikulumet has in the recent past proved to be an effective and smooth operator after putting up a well detailed defence for government and President Museveni at the EU Parliamentary Sub-committee on Human Rights in respect of alleged human rights violations.
It should be recalled that the government has in the recent past faced widespread negative publicity on allegations of human rights abuse.
In the aftermath of this allegations, the lady from Teso Lillian Ikulumet saved the situation after she presented a paper to the Europeans in Brussels giving the government’s position on human rights and related matters.
She said the allegations were being investigated and assured the Europeans that it is not the policy of president Museveni and NRM government to use torture as a means of suppressing dissent. She also gave a detailed account of how government has dealt with perpetrators of human rights abuse with many having been sentenced and others still under investigation.
She told us that this planned convention is deemed to attract more than 200 guests to engage and debate with the NRM Party/Government representatives.
A soft spoken Ikulumet who’s the NRM diaspora representative says:
“H.E, President Museveni who is also our party chairman supports such engagement platforms that are intended to address various issues faced by those in diaspora. The objective of this convention is to bring together the NRM party and government representatives to exchange views with those in diaspora on various issues. We shall discuss the Human Rights subject to Uganda” she says.
She says the convention is open to everyone and not limited to only NRM fans.
“Other topics for discussion will include: Repatriation to Uganda in case of emergencies, the Labour market discourse in diaspora, youth/women economic empowerment government initiatives, investment opportunities for Ugandans in Diaspora and dual citizenship among others” she says.
The gorgeous and highly industrious Ikulumet added that one of the overarching questions to be addressed at the event is ‘How can the NRM government engage the diaspora in the domestic political process?
“It’s very important for us to know what the party wants to achieve and when? Which kind of effort is needed and resources it is willing to invest in reaching that goal? Such issues will be on the agenda” added Ikulumet.
She added that with all said and done, the convention platform will also be used primarily to raise visibility and awareness of the NRM government achievements, and initiatives for Ugandans both at home and abroad. It will also help promote Uganda as one of the best tourism and investment destination in the world.
According to Ikulumet, the convention is also targeted at expanding the party’s network outside of its national borders.
She said as Ugandans in diaspora, they are excited about this engagement and feel it is an opportunity for them especially in Europe (Germany) to come and engage with the ruling party, government officials, Human rights agencies and Ugandan missions abroad.
She said the key activities at the convention will include Presentations and Keynote Speeches, panel discussions, group brain storming sessions, social connections activities, business exhibitions, women empowerment sessions, entertainment among others.
“As one of the major needs for most Ugandans in Diaspora, representatives from NIRA will be on site to process National Identification, birth certificates registration and embassy staff will also be on ground with regards to discussions on dual citizenship and passport acquisition/ registration procedures.This is a maiden event, that will be hosted for the first time in Europe in the southern city of Germany” a gorgeous Ikulumet said.
She said participants from Uganda Missions abroad, various NRM League chapters in diaspora, NRM fans and well-wishers are expected to come and attend the convention.