UK-Indian Community Praises Museveni For Creating A Conducive Environment For Them In Uganda

UK-Indian Community Praises Museveni For Creating A Conducive Environment For Them In Uganda

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By Spy Uganda

Exactly 50 years ago (1972), Idi Amin opened a dark and shameful chapter when he decreed that over 50,000 Ugandan Indians who had known nowhere but Uganda as their homeland should abandon their country to begin lives anew elsewhere. Many of these would later end up migrating to the United Kingdom (UK) albeit haphazardly, some landing with less than a penny to their names.

Half a century later, on Sunday, September 11, 2022, at Anoopam Mission, Swaminarayan Temple in Denham, London, a section of these Indians and their families gathered to mark this day and pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II. Speaker after speaker expressed how the 1972 debacle pulled down a temporary curtain on their lives, while at the same time basking in positive testimonies regarding how that low situation propelled them to greater heights.

Lord Dollar Popat, the UK Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Uganda, spoke amidst cheers when he stated that: “This (UK) is my home but my heart is always in Uganda.” Lord Popat, born in Busolwe, current Butaleja District and raised in Tororo District, thanked President Museveni for the “good treatment” of the Indian Community.

He urged the President to appoint more cabinet ministers and senior Government officials of Indian origin while at the same time praising the President for picking H.E Nimisha Madhvani as the High Commissioner of Uganda to the UK, which he said galvanises the friendship between Uganda and the Indian Community.

“The friendship between Uganda and the Asian community was producing about 240million pounds. The British government picked me to take charge of the trade in Uganda, and added on Rwanda and DRC, being Ugandan myself. I am happy that we are now at about 5 billion pounds. Of course, this is as well an effort by President Museveni for uniting the Asian community,” he said.

H.E Nimisha Madhvani also commended President Museveni for fostering unity amongst the Indian community both in Uganda and the UK.

“President Museveni has reunited us here. For instance, I am a refugee but he has turned me into a High Commissioner,” she said. Lord Rami Ranger, a successful British businessman was impressed with Uganda’s choice to work with the Indian Community, adding that it would lead to shared success.

Speaking on behalf of President Museveni, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gen. Abubaker Jeje Odongo, thanked the Asian community for maintaining faith in Uganda despite the 1972
disaster.

“Many of you arrived here penniless and destitute but because of your resilience, not only did u survive but you thrived,” Gen. Odongo said. He extended an invite to all of them for the upcoming celebrations on October 15 in Kampala, Uganda, to mark 100 years of the Asian community in Uganda.

In 1986, President Museveni welcomed back the Asian community in Uganda and returned their properties to them.
According to President Museveni, the Asian community played a lead role in Uganda’s social and industrial  development. Already Asians like former high court Justice Anup Sing Choudry have been appointed to serve at the highest level of Uganda’s judicial system.

Others, like swimmer Supra Singhal, have represented the country at the Olympics. Uganda’s strong reputation for academia is upheld by the likes of Prof. Mahmood Mamdani.

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