Ambassador Peter Maurice Kagimu Kiwanuka? Kiri wa Nnaku!


ONE of the reasons Information & Communication Technologies are important is they create transparency in governance. As evidenced by this YouTube video of Ambassador Maurice Peter Kagimu Kiwanuka addressing a Symposium of the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy on the topic ‘The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Furthering Sustainable Development’.

It is hard not to insult him personally while discussing the international appearance of this representative of Uganda, but considering that his presentation was an insult to the entire country and that he has an ongoing mandate to speak for us in places we know not of, I will plough on.

Mr. Kagimu Kiwanuka, 50, is a son of the late Benedicto Kiwanuka, a former Prime Minister of Uganda. He is also a former representative of an entire constituency in Uganda and was therefore a Member of Parliament AND, now, is an official representative of the Republic of Uganda to Switzerland, and Permanent Representative of Uganda to the United Nations, World Trade Organisation and other International Organisations.

You therefore can’t blame any European for thinking that he is a true representation of every Ugandan out there.

This intro was clearly made at the start of the lecture by a lady who couldn’t pronounce his name and showed a little embarrassment at this, giving the Ambassador a couple of opportunities to sternly correct her and show the world that Ugandans don’t appreciate having our names mis-pronounced.

So the next time you meet a European and they don’t bother getting your name right, blame this man.

Within the first minute of the fifty-minute video, I was thoroughly irritated by his smiling back at her sheepishly each time she said “Ki-wa’nnaku”…but re-aligned myself when I realized that perhaps that should have been his name.

For Europeans or non-Ugandans reading this, Kiri wa Nnaku is a Luganda phrase that loosely translated means: “This is a disaster”, and I believe that God was guiding that lady to pronounce his name correctly as such.

Mr. Ki-wa’nnaku (whose name was spelt ‘Kiwamuka’ on the screen) kicked off by asking her – right there at the high table while whispering into the microphone, “I don’t know how much time you have given me…” The lady whispered back an embarrassed response and he asked again, “Half an hour with questions? With everything? Now, for talking how many minutes?”

Creating the impression in the minds of the world that Ugandans do not plan or prepare for stuff.

But then he took it a step further, telling them, “Usually for us in Africa time is not very much an issue but here it is an issue. I remember one Bishop was telling the priests that the first thing you do, the missionaries when they came you throw away your watches. But now here, time. I will try.”

This sentence, meanwhile, delivered with the type of smile that one immediately associates with the late Idi Amin – who, ironically, he mentions later on in his ramblings. I won’t go into the facial expressions and gestures used by Mr. Ki-wa’nnaku, but when you meet a European and he treats you like you’re a few rungs lower than him on the intellectual chain, blame this man.

The rest of the presentation is unbelievable. The man tells them he doesn’t believe in what he is saying but will only say it to please the person who presented before him.

The man speaks to this conference as if he is addressing a rally of chaps in Bukomansimbi, and rambles through his discussion like a man who has recently put away unhealthy amounts of alcohol.

If it were not for the banners in the background and the introduction by the white lady next to him, you would be convinced that Ki-wa’nnaku is acting out a comedy on Bukedde TV.

At one point, the description that comes to mind is that this fellow is the most African version of a mixture of Mr. Bean and about five Monty Python characters with a tinge of Idi Amin on drugs.

“They told me that when you are a diplomat you don’t mention countries,” he says at one point, having already mentioned China, Saudi Arabia, India and then going on to mention Somalia, Afghanistan, Burundi, Kenya, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Mali, Sierra Leone, Syria, South Africa, Rwanda, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, DRC, Southern Sudan, Iraq, Malawi, Senegal, Zambia…I stopped counting just in case he had a World Atlas in front of him.

Mr. Ki-wa’nnaku, unfortunately for Uganda, wore a pin with national colours on his right lapel, which I felt would have been more useful to the nation if the sharp end were about six inches longer.

“Switzerland does not have natural resources, but they have the brain…” he says, imputing that those with natural resources have none – which point he didn’t need to voice in this manner as he was the embodiment of this very idea.

“When you are talking people may get tired but for you you don’t get tired. Even if they are not enjoying for you you are enjoying…”

Speechless.

Not just me – the entire damn room.

The video doesn’t pan out to show their faces but I can certainly imagine them gazing at him in disbelief; enthralled by the idiocy spewing out of what could possibly be a bottomless pit of comedic ignorance.

As soon as he ended his ridiculous tirade, the room broke out into the laughter they had been holding in, and he immediately attended to a couple of SMS messages. Pitifully, none of them was from State House telling him to catch the next flight back to Uganda without passing ‘Go’.

When asked why he focuses on business and commerce when addressing cultural diplomacy, Ki-wa’nnaku says, at one point, “People are not going to eat human rights.” But that’s not the funny bit. He actually says:

“What my government does nowadays they bring in politicians in the diplomacy. Because sometimes when a career diplomat, the problem. He may stick to the principles. Civil servants are very obedient what. They stick to the letters. He says, for me I cam here for this. According to the law, this is the rule. Then he starts reading. Now things are changing For example if you are to include that the law has to go to cabinet then it has to go to Parliament and then policies and then what what what. But for me I am a political cadre. I know what my government wants so that is what I will follow. I will not go by the letters too much.”

Speechless. No words.

Okay, maybe some words: You stupid fool. You have actually told the world that you disregard the law, policies and procedures? You are a political cadre who what?! How do you know what the government wants without reading?

His display of stupidity is given full reign when someone asks why the average age of leaders in Africa is 75 when in developed countries it is 50.

Wading through words put together with consistent foolishness, he actually says, “Libya, they solved the problem themselves. Tunisia, they solved the problem. Egypt, they solved the problem themselves. People sometimes they solve the problem.”

If President Museveni fires this guy on the basis of this statement alone, God will bless him.

But perhaps I am being harsh; perhaps this man and his appearance to the world via YouTube is actually a true representation of Ugandans. Do we care that much about how our names are spelt or pronounced? Do we keep time? Do we plan and prepare for stuff? Do we care that we look buffoonish sometimes when going about our duties? Do we take care to not ramble, to not sound stupid in public…or private for that matter?

I don’t. And I know many Ugandans like me. So, the explanation we must give the world for the existence of this Ki-wa’nnaku is this: We sent him there so we could keep all the intelligent people here so Uganda can develop faster.

45 thoughts on “Ambassador Peter Maurice Kagimu Kiwanuka? Kiri wa Nnaku!

  1. Hahahahahaha!!!!

    So sad it’s funny! Couldn’t go past the first minute, I applaud your courage boss, 50 minutes of listening to this guy must cause some kind of irreversible mental degradation.

    At least the intelligent peeps are at home nation building. Hehe

    Good post boss.

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  2. You need to go the full 50 minutes in order to appreciate how much idiocy exists in the name of Uganda! And to develop the anger required to sort it out…”solve the problem”, in a manner of speaking!

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  3. LOL!

    I lost a few points off my IQ for watching this imbecile!

    This all goes back to the appointing authority! Just like his judgement needs to be questioned for appointing Ssebagala minister without portfolio and later presidential advisor, it should be questioned in appointing this idiot to misrepresent Ugandans!

    Appointments are driven by political agendas and patronage rather than merit. There are hardly any career diplomats in service anymore and those remaining are simply deployed to clean up after people like these! this guy was “rewarded” with a posting for defecting from DP the party his father founded!

    Banange tuswaleko!

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  4. What was this man saying? How come no one seems to understand or follow what he said? Are you guys Ugandans? Is this one of your own? When one is appointed Ambassador, he presents his credentials to the Head of State of host country. Of course, there’s a brief chat between the Ambassador and the Head of State…..I don’t want to think about this man’s credentials if any…..but what kind of chat did he have with his host?

    But we all know the problem is bigger than that……this man’s behavior is symptomatic…….I can’t even state of what! The dog has come home!

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  5. Its unbelievable that this is the son of the celebrated and brainy Benedicto Kiwanuka, Uganda’s first Prime Minister, and later on Chief Justice, educated in the prestigious University College London in the 50s, and later admitted to the Bar Association at Gray’s Inn, London. He must be turning in his grave with embarassment at his son’s performance.

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  6. He represents a fair discription of Uganda @50! This is a typical movement cadre. They are every where. In cabinet, parliament, ministries, name it. People who can’t express them selves. It’s grossly wrong to even blame that poor man. You need to point figures at the one who appointed him. Oh Uganda. Our beloved country!

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  7. Well,this guy has totally lost it, but as Uganda we can correct the situation.There are some recently appointed diplomats/ Ambassadors undergoing training ,could someone present this presentation to them for a discussion,perhaps some will realize the challenge in their posting and beg the appointing authority for a redeployment to a local position, say RDC or presidential assistants,tuswala!

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  8. He is a shame! Wish he could take his job on the international stage with the seriousness it deserves. The appointing and vetting authorities should ensure only those with the required competences are allowed to represent.

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  9. Please guys, I beg you to stop wishing that this guy is recalled, I just hope he is fired or given a low rank position at an embassy in a rather insecure place like Somalia, Iraq or Afghanistan. Bringing him back to Uganda will simply be equivalent to importing a huge mass of stupidity.

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  10. Regarding the Maurice Kagimu Kiwanuka debacle and what it reveals about Uganda’s standing in international circles, all who feel strongly about having him removed and replaced with somebody who will represent Uganda better should join in petitioning the powers that be directly. Kindly email the Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Alex Byarugaba, on abyarugaba@parliament.go.ug and copy the other members as well. Their email addresses are at http://www.parliament.go.ug/new/index.php/parliamentary-business/committees. Please keep your views polite and brief but be clear that Uganda deserves better and demand that our representatives do what we sent them to Parliament for.

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      1. Please if anyone has this video please share it with me. It was taken off youtube so I cannot access it.

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  11. Even if we petition parliament, it will do nothing about it. I can assure you that. They are the ones that vetted and overwhelmingly approved him. They are all NRM cadres who don’t believe in quality. They believe in rewarding of cadres regardless of their compentancies. This is it. We have got to remain in this bondage of political darkness.

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    1. Edmond, don’t lose faith and lose the fight. Let’s soldier on, we’ll get there. Just don’t get tired, this is a fight and the weak willed shall not get to the promised land. So I encourage you to keep the faith, and lets keep fighting.

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  12. He is an embarrassment to his late father’s legacy.. But again this is what happens when we hire ‘CADRES’ instead of proffesionals. We have carrier diplomats on Katebe but our appointing authority thinks its better we do with his cadres!!

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  13. Does Uganda actually have a civil service school? Or the ‘ambassador’ got appointed for services rendered as a political cadre?
    Sometimes I think the big man appoints lumpens to represent him abroad who can’t outshine him!

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  14. This is disaster of the highest rank. No wonder Museveni like such goons to represent Uganda because they have no brain to criticize him. I now confirm its true, Benedicto Kiwanuka never sired children with a quarter of his brain, most of his children are just so average and the boys are notorious womanizers nothing more. What a pity for the dead man, he must be cursing in his grave,

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  15. You brave soul Simon! You are doing such phenomenon job! THANK YOU FOR the courage to watch…and the follow up details…re: writing to Chairperson on Foreign Affairs…

    I ALWAYS enjoy your writing!! even when I do not see just like you:)

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  16. Well, I think we can break through this one if we go out and send a strong message to parliament and the appointing authorities. How did he even pass his examinations? Really guys this is so bad! How many younger and more brilliant people do we have in this country who would speak better. He must be fired and event return all his salary since he became an ambassador and no one should ever allow him to touch any bit of our taxes

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  17. Idont blame kiwanaku but M7- he is the one that likes bringing such junk so he can influence them-the 19 yr old,those who told pple to eat monkeys if they r destroying their crops

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  18. Anna W. He passed his examinations by telling the professors what they wanted to hear, even if he did not believe it. He says so right there in the video!! :-S

    Simon, I must applaud you too for watching that video to the end – I honestly could not go beyond the 3rd minute or so!

    On a side note: LOL at “… and then policies, and then what, what, what. But for me … I know what my government wants so that is what I will follow (and what is that precisely, I wonder?)” – TOOO FUNNY! If it had not been taken down I would go over to youtube and watch it to the end this time.

    As for the comments on Libya, etc. “solving” their problems – #speechless #dead!!!

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  19. As you may have noticed by now, the video has since been blocked on YouTube. I hope there’s someone out there who had the foresight to download it, so that it can be disseminated…again!

    I couldn’t even finish watching the video when I saw it a few days ago. I stopped less than a minute in. I needed to compose and steel myself then resume later but I still haven’t gotten to it. It would be a very painful and torturous exercise for which I may be ill-suited for!

    Kagimu obviously comes from impeccable pedigree, being Ben Kiwanuka’s son and all, but clearly there’s something to be said about the importance of nurturing i.e. the quality of one’s schooling that prepares you to be cultured and sophisticated. Diplomatic appointments should require an impeccable level of sophistication and coherence.

    His position cannot be based on his personal appeal, experience or skill. It’s purely a matter of political expedience. So a finger needs to be pointed at the appointing authority as well. The inability of such a high ranking member of our diplomatic corps to coherently articulate his views is not only embarrassing but inexcusable. But I guess that’s what you get for 50 years of bananas and 26 years of mediocrity.

    During a speech on conciliation with America that he delivered on March 22, 1775, Edmund Burke famously remarked that “Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together.”!

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  20. After his sagacious observation that Switzerland has no natural resources but they have the brains, his immediate follow-up argument was “I want you (the West) to help me so I can also have a brain”. PRICELESS ….!!!!

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  21. Lord have Mercy. hats off to those who watched beyond the third minute, but now regret having missed to see and hear someone asking for a brain!

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  22. I can swear I lost a good number of brain cells in the Broca’s Area. I am indeed thankful that we chose to get rid of such people from the country. I suggest the likes of Ssebagala are appointed diplomats too.

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  23. Thank you all for the comments. I did not watch the video and it has been removed but I can feel the pain after reading the comments. Can any one send it to us and we follow this matter as parliament? Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, MP and Parliamentary Commissioner, Uganda Parliament.

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  24. I don’t. And I know many Ugandans like me. So, the explanation we must give the world for the existence of this Ki-wa’nnaku is this: We sent him there so we could keep all the intelligent people here so Uganda can develop faster.

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  25. It’s a shame – shame shame shame! This beautiful country has been taken to the dogs several times and it seems this is not about to end soon. Does transferring him solve the problem? Do we really want a non-intellectual individual to represent Ugandans on any scene? I suggest that he is recalled by the appointing body and if they really want to reward him, they should take him back to school and train him under rigorous academic supervision until he is deemed fit to represent.

    That aside, It baffles me that you can hardly find sensible and up to-date information about Uganda on the ministry websites – all you get is the old style – outdated minister’s message, the rest is copy and paste from old retyped documents that have not even been proof read. Give them (websites) a try, you will be surprised! I hate this feeling about my country.

    Robert
    at http://www.i-uganda.com/

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  26. Some people add costs ONLY.

    African monetary policy is affected by fiscal policy which in turn is held hostage to political expediency. Hence while we target economic intergration, even simpler things like synchronising the fiscal year or ceilings on fiscal deficits accross member state s have not been done. Each country goes to the polls on their own schedule. The govt administration cost “per capita” in Africa is much higher in Africa than elsewhere globally. Many civil servants seem to be below par.. hence poor execution of contracts, negotiation of agreements, idle advisors..etc.

    It could well be that Africa needs political Union ahead of everything. It will cause a consolidation of public service jobs, slectng the best from the pool of 1 billion, saving administration costs that can be channeled to continental infrastructure priorities like (rail linking morrocco phosphate factory to Africa’s lowest users of fertilisers/acre in the world, energy projects that have stalled like the grand Inga project..)

    If we are to learn from the US, India, China & Russia .. it appears that cultural diversity alone should not be a hindrance for political Union. From Europe we learn that without political Union, economic intergration is shacky at best.

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