UK No Longer Promised Land for Ugandans

My attention was drawn to the possible deportation of 30,000 Ugandans from UK whose story was widely covered by the media last October.

The Asylum Seekers and Refugees Convention states that everyone with well-founded fear of persecution for political, religious or racial reasons has the right to seek protection in other countries. It was significantly remarkable that some of the supposedly persecuted asylum seekers were among those addressed in Manchester to mark Uganda’s 51st independence anniversary.

I was with my close friend unassuming Ben Matoogo (rest peacefully) when someone reminded us that it was the 9th October during Idi Amin’s time. No one outside immigration interview rooms knows exactly what these asylum seekers say.

The Home Office is not blameless but it was beyond satire for the high commission serving a government whose dysfunctional Immigration department issues diplomatic passports to human and drug traffickers as exemplified by numerous convicted Ugandans jailed abroad, and most bizarrely, employs impostors in sensitive positions, to berate UK immigration officials as “incompetent”.

It is precisely because Uganda is a major entryexit point for international criminals with Ugandan passports that Internal Affairs Minister Gen Aronda Nyakairima embarked on the visionary reorganisation of the Immigration department by retraining staff.

Its chronic inefficiency has massively contributed to the influx into UK of bogus asylum seekers, including hardened criminals and hapless jobless poverty- stricken Ugandans not recognised by the Convention.

It’s a baffling contradiction for the high commission to get involved in affairs and aspirations of the perceived enemies of the very regime it represents. Jehoash Mayanja Nkangi epitomises incalculable genuine persecuted Ugandan refugees. He disguised himself as a porter to escape before reaching London via Nairobi and not Entebbe, the fake asylum seekers’ route, after Apollo Milton Obote had annihilated the monarchy in which Nkangi was katikkiro.

How could Nkangi ask Paul Etyang, the then high commissioner and Obote’s man in London, to help him relocate in the country?

To legitimise their stay in UK, bogus asylum seekers fabricate imaginary claims of torture and murder, tarnishing Uganda’s image and thus undermining the high commission’s aims in UK. Credible immigration cases don’t need lawyers or the high commission’s patronising addresses, provided applicants can adequately and sufficiently articulate their ordeal in plain English.

A Ugandan woman was imprisoned for marrying three times under different identities to formalise her stay in UK and claim benefits. The bigamist even tricked Archbishop Sentamu to (re) marry her in one of her sham marriages. Betrayal by her “trusted” fellow Baganda “friends”, relatives, including siblings, is a distinct possibility.

I don’t condone criminality but the overblown rhetoric of Baganda’s “love” for Buganda is dangerously weakened by their rancid politics of envy, jealousy, hypocrisy and treachery. Such treachery is demonstrated by the fact that all cases of theft, benefits fraud and visa misrepresentations feature Baganda as if it was only Baganda who exclusively belong to the criminal fraternity.

All the Ugandan happily united tribes in UK are not angelic or innocent but unlike self-serving Baganda with deceptive smiles, can’t betray their fellow tribespeople. Some Baganda reportedly provide intelligence on fellow Baganda “overstayers” to have them “despatched” (kubatikka) – deported.

There is a powerful case to suspect that Ruth Nabuguzi and accomplices jailed for falsely claiming over pound4 million in state benefits were probably shopped by their fellow Baganda “friends”.

To the delight and amusement of Baganda bashers with inherent hatred, it looks closer to impossible than likely that those disloyal Baganda with venomous malice- “nnugu”- will ever enable other impeccable non-toxic Baganda to rule.

Uganda will first win the World Cup before a Muganda with Museveni’s absolute powers becomes president. Immigration Appeals Tribunals and the Human Rights Act are open to despairing Ugandans threatened with deportation. If they have exhausted all the avenues, they have to re-assess their situation and reflect on the future.

Welfare benefits costing over pound3.7 billion annually include those paid to illegal immigrants. That’s why government is cracking down on them by carefully weeding out undesirables, including criminals masquerading as refugees.

Unrestricted influx into UK by citizens from the 28 EU member states aggravates the situation. The country agreed to admit Syrian refugees not to mention thousands already here from the war-torn Middle East.

It’s not very imaginative to fantasise UK, where entry conditions are harshly prohibitive, as the “promised” land. Ugandans must recognise that there are far better things in life than going to UK where the British and MPs are demanding tougher measures to drastically reduce immigration.

Failed asylum seekers may claim to be homosexuals, thanks to President Museveni’s signing of the anti-gay law, but campaigners for its repeal ruin their chances and of those desperately struggling to leave Uganda. The writer l is a Ugandan living in London.

Source : The Observer

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