The rivalry between Ugandan Diaspora groups in the USA has now shifted to Uganda’s oldest band- Afrigo.
The Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) and the UNAA Causes have for long been at logger heads with each of the groups organising a separate convention on the same dates but in different states in the USA.
Whilst the UNAA Causes has been known for providing entertainment during their famed Uganda festival, UNAA on the other hand has been known for providing political platforms for debate and activism.
This year the two groups held their conventions in Miami and Las Vegas for UNAA and UNAA Causes respectively. UNAA Causes attracted a series of artistes including the Nigerian singing duo Psquare, Uganda’s finest of stars in Juliana Kanyomozi, Sheebah Karungi and David Lutalo.
Their colleagues in Miami on the other hand failed to snatch a single artiste worth their name, for even at the last minute, Radio and Weasel shunned the politically billed event.
Now with preparations for the upcoming conventions in Washington DC and Seattle for UNAA Causes and UNAA respectively, all groups are looking in every nook and cranny to attract a sizeable audience and win the battle of legitimacy.
In the event of doing so, the two groups have clashed over the Uganda’s oldest band- The Afrigo, with each group claiming the band will be entertaining at their event.
As of today, both groups have advertised the presence of Afrigo band despite their conventions happening on the same dates (August 31- September 3 2017).
However, UNAA Causes claim direct contact and contractual obligations with the band.
David Muwanga, the deputy chairperson of UNAA Causes says that the band was contacted in September and a contract already signed for their services in Washington.
“UNAA Causes is excited to bring the popular Afrigo Band to Uganda Diaspora's favorite destination - The Uganda Festival 2018 in our nation's capital - Washington DC. We can also confirm that we executed our contract directly with Afrigo Band's most senior personnel,” Mr Muwanga says.
He says that the UNAA Causes’ capacity to process work permits for our performers is unmatched in the entire Uganda diaspora unlike their colleagues.
When contacted for a comment, the UNAA president Monday Atigo said “We took down Afrigo. Their booking agent led us into believing that they are available,” Atigo said.
However, UNAA’s official platforms continue to inform their target audiences that Afrigo band will feature.
On contacting the Afrigo Band, its members reiterated they have a contract with the group in Washington and denies any contact with the UNAA.
James Wasula, one of the directors of the band says they have a contract with David Muwanga on behalf of UNAA Causes.
“I am not aware of the groups, what I am sure of is that we have a contract with David Muwanga and his group in Washington,” Wasula said.
Mr Muwanga insists the intentions by their rivals are aimed at diverting the masses from the ongoing political climate in their group. The group is currently hit by a disagreement over who is the legitimate President of the association. The UNAA Board of Trustees in a statement this month demanded that the current President Monday Atigo step down after allegations that he was elected through an invalid process.
“We are noticing a propaganda campaign by an Event in Seattle on similar dates and we want to remind the North American Community that this is designed to divert you from the chaotic climate going on in UNAA, the cancellation of the Miami 2017 election and the absence of advertised performers in Miami has created panic with in their camp and we are prepared to address this intended confusion according to the United States Of America Standards,” Mr Muwanga notes.