By our reporter
It’s rare these days to find politicians and business people under one roof and are not whining over what’s going wrong in government while others defend this or that position.
In the 1990s when Uganda was a free spirited country, it was common to find leaders from politics, business, military, justice sector etc, smiling away at a party, or, other meeting points having a good time. By the way many were not as successful as they are today.
As Ugandans became a little pessimistic, many people shut friends out and concentrated on making personal dreams become a reality. The truth however remained that no one succeeds alone and every win deserves a celebration, and each loss is better handled with genuine friends around.
A return to the good old days is what exactly happened last weekend as tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia invited his old buddies who included Amama Mbabazi, Sam Kuteesa, Jim Muhwezi, Gen Henry Tumukunde, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga among others to toast to his son Rajiv and Naiya party as they celebrated their first anniversary in marriage. It was a celebration with a Cuban party setting.
No doubt Rajiv and Naiya had a colourful first wedding anniversary, but beyond the joys and splendour that was reserved for the Prince and Princess, the meet up for the titans of Uganda’s politics and business, brought together joys of comradeship of the men and women who made Uganda prosperous in their heydays.
These meet ups have been uncommon in the recent past, something observers blame on political or business rivalry. Or rather, every one had become busier forgetting what makes life worth it – the little celebrations with friends.
At Speke Resort Munyonyo on Saturday, it was not easy to know everyone who graced the event, as the wedding anniversary dubbed ‘Cuba’ had Kampala’s who is who, friends or associates of the Ruparelia family or businesses.
However there faces that could not hide. Former prime minister Amama Mbabazi who also gave away his daughter recently at a big do in Kololo and Sam Kuteesa, the foreign affairs minister who was recently cited in a US investigation to have suggested Crane Bank was for sale, long before it was heard of that the bank was to be sold, added another narrative, to what was going on behind the curtain.
Generals Jim Muhwezi and Henry Tumukunde as well as Speaker Rebecca Kadaga honoured their invites to the PARTY. Among other notables including diplomats. One could interpret the event as a strike of diplomatic genius for the Sudhir family who have in the past two years been at the centre of business news, since Bank of Uganda grabbed Crane Bank from them and gave it to DFCU bank in what has left the bank naked and the rot in the central bank instead the biggest scandal in the decade.
Governor Emmanuel Mutebile missed out on the event for obvious reasons but he used to be part of this circle.
In their speeches, both Sudhir and Rajiv hinted on the ongoing transition in the Ruparelia business empire. Sudhir said Rajiv was the new driver of the group.
Rajiv and Naiya, the new faces of the Ruparelia group, might have called their friends to party but the true meaning of the occasion was a powerful business and public relations occasion for what’s going on behind the curtain.
Sudhir has shown his son and daughters as the frontiers of his empire and other leaders, hopefully will soon have the confidence to allow their children take up their rightful place in society.