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Independent opinions

Anne Mugisha: A hypocrite or Patriot?

This week saw Anne Mugisha secure herself a place with the UN. The social media was full of different opinions about this incident since she was deemed to be an active member of the opposition who would always have nothing to do with the gov’t. Here is a full version of the letter she wrote to the President, H.E Museveni, seeking his endorsement for the post, as reported in www.monitor.co.ug and www.chimpreports.com.

H:E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

President of the Republic of Uganda

Entebbe, Uganda

April 30, 2012

Your Excellency,

I am writing to request your clearance for an appointment to a position with the United Nations.

I was selected through a highly competitive process for the position of Public Information officer at the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).

Upon completion of the selection process but prior to the offer being made, some Ugandans intimated to the UNPOS Mission that while I was a highly competent professional, I was a also a public figure in Uganda’s opposition and the Uganda military in Somalia might have difficulties working with me.

The Secretary General’s Special Representative (SGSR), Ambassador Mahiga requested communication from the Uganda government that I would satisfy him that I would not have difficulties working with the military in Somalia.

The SGSR sought to avoid any conflict that may arise between his office and Ugandan troops/government as a result of my recruitment to this position.

I am therefore writing to make a personal commitment to you as Head of State and to the government of Uganda that I will carry out my role as a Ugandan patriot and as a dedicated international civil servant.

The United Nations Charter states that UN staff should adhere to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity.

The organisation’s values include loyalty, neutrality, transparency, diligence, impartiality, and other values that may be specific to the public services of individual countries. The founders believed UN staff should mirror the diverse political, ethnic, social and cultural systems of the member states and operate in anon-partisan, neutral manner.

Moreover, UN staff rely on the host government or in the case of Somalia, they rely on regional governments, particularly Uganda for protection and security.

Accordingly, I am putting an end to twelve years of opposition activism in order to concentrate on building a career with the UN and this position in UNPOS offers an invaluable entry point.

My decision to join United Nations is also motivated by personal reasons to care for an invalid child with a debilitating condition that needs constant and expensive treatment and therefore- good insurance which the UN can provide

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to pay attention to this matter, which even though not your priority means a lot to me and my family.

Signed: Anne Mugisha Bwomezi.

I find this letter very mature, coming from an opposition member to the head of state of Uganda and I totally disgarre with those who think (or believe) that it is a show of hypocrisy.

I do not want to be part of the barbaric shallow minded-ness of very many people who believe that an opposition member can’t work for UN, or any other organization in the same field! It is a very shallow argument when I see a person capitalizing on only one statement in the letter that says “I am putting an end to twelve years of opposition activism” and ignoring other statements like “…I will carry out my role as a Ugandan patriot and as a dedicated international civil servant” to say she has been a ‘snake’ in the opposition. This whole debate made me ask myself, Aren’t members of the opposition fighting for our rights? Isn’t activism there to ensure that we live a better life? If we all can answer yes to the above questions, then I see no reason why Anne Mugisha can’t work for UN! Even if she was appointed a Minister in the cabinet of Uganda, she would be in the right position to fight for our rights.

The basis of any commentary on Anne Mugisha should be based on her competence, conduct, discipline, professionalism and any other virtues expected to be upheld by her, but not her political affiliations. If she passed the interview that was set for her by the UN, what is wrong with seeking a ‘go-ahead’ from the President? Or do people want to be misled into believing that an opposition member should never ask for anything from a member of the ruling government?

One of my favorite opinions about the whole incident was “Shame on you guys who are pointing figures to Anne Mugisha. If the President was determined to tarnish her future, he would have, through the state mechanism, subjected her to a period of observation to ensure that she has relinquished her party affiliation. Am impressed and humbled with what the President has done. To Anne Mugisha, I wish you the best in your carrier”. People should stop believing in the shallow politics of ‘if we don’t belong in the same party, then we are enemies‘. To hell with that ideology which will always push our country far from development.

I want to use this forum to denounce any thoughts that Anne Mugisha has become a hypocrite by working for UN. Her new job doesn’t mean that she has become an NRM member (and even if she became one, I would assume she got to see the ‘light’). I would appreciate it if any comments about her work came based on her performance and not these shallow initial opinions I read all over the social media. We should all be in position to work where we can impact on the well-being of the citizens of Uganda, whether in opposition, gov’t, an NGO, UN, or any other relevant office, but not blackmail and lash out at those who want to use their efforts to attempt making a change on our lives.

To Anne Mugisha, I wish you luck on your new job. I hope you will always stand by your values and I am ready to judge you based on your performance at work. Do not be derailed by ‘haters’ who have no idea what impact you can create on their lives by working for them.

@jobaze

jobaze@gmail.com

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