By Henry Rugamba

Its 6am and I am getting ready to leave this rainy town that has been our home for the past few days. Thank you Arusha for the hospitality.

Our final day began with a very telling presentation on Malaria management by Dr Diana Measham from the Gates Foundation Malaria Initiative. Diana shared impressive data from Zambia where their work has seen a 90% drop in Malaria incidence in an area they focused on ‘ the hospital beds once occupied are empty and the clinics that had queues going round the building are gone’. She complimented the Rotary Club of Soroti for working with the foundation in Katakwi to fight Malaria. Then she challenged us to do what we did to polio to do to malaria. Maybe our governments should look towards Rotary for solutions to the many health challenges that are cutting so many lives short.

Another thing Government can learn from Rotary is our succession planning. We always have 3 leaders in line. The District Governor (DG), the District Governor Elect (DGE) and the District Governor Nominee Designate (DGND). As the current Governor steps down the inner cycle of leaders considers the applications they have had from potential leaders. One on One interviews are held and many considerations are made to decide who the Governor Designate Nominee will be. We the delegates wait on the side line for the ‘white smoke’. I know this is not breaking news but I pleased to announce the nomination of F Xavier Sentamu of the Rotary Club of Kiwatule as the DGND. We pledged our support to Salongo and look forward to his term of office.

We broke for the day to prepare for the evening. Many of us chose to go into town for lunch. Together with 10 or so friends we walked into this Nyama Choma place and were shocked to find so many other Ugandans in the place. Luganda rather than Swahili was the language you would hear. Our people have totally failed to speak Swahili. One guy struggling to make his order was over heard asking for ‘matiti ya kuku’ I can only think he meant Chicken Breast.

I did not have my phone to take pictures I will leave the photo moments to Aggrey Kagonyera and Mwesigye Samantha. The evening was crowned by the installation of Ken as our District Governor 2017/18. As soon as he was crowned the bakiga took to the stage jumping and dancing as they do. Professor Nuwagaba had issued the official instruction as they do in Kabale ‘You musta breaka thata floorwa’ and Kayitarama Godfrey gave a very good try. When you thought the violent dance of the bakiga defined Ugandan Culture the Baganda dancers from Rotary Club of Nambole showed the charm of Uganda shaking those waists and sending your dirty minds to new heights.

DG Ken Mushia was humble in his acceptance speech thanking our now past District Governor Jayesh – ‘Kaka Yangu Jayesh, una kujengwa District Yetu Asante Saana. I want to promise before all here that I will build on the success and complete the work you have started’

I was relived to hear someone from Uganda could speak Swahili unlike that guy earlier on.

Now when in Arusha what happens after official functions stays in Arusha. My memory fails me, I cannot remember what happened after dinner.

Asante Arusha, Asante Tanzania.

This writing first appeared on Mr Henry Rugamba’s Facebook page.