Letters from Sonja:  The New Immigration Bill
Gaboon viper.

Letters from Sonja: The New Immigration Bill


Will the Winklmaiers be forced to return to Germany?

By Sonja Winklmaier
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First published: March 8, 2007


Click Here: Previously on "Letters from Sonja: Returning Home"


September 23rd, 1963 My letter to Gerd:

Please take a seat before you read this letter. Hubert has sold your boat! He thinks 1500 Shs, which we paid into your account, is a good price for the boat. I am only not quite sure, whether you wanted to sell the boat? Hubert has sold the boat to Father Weber in Fort Portal. The boat is still in the harbour. As he has already paid for it, I am sure that he soon will collect it. Please write back instantly, whether you agree so that I can sleep well again. Hymas has also sold his boat. He got 600 Shs. for it.

So far there is no buyer for your Porsche. None of the people you mentioned has been here so far.

The Sarrazins' (German Ambassador) gave a party. It is really surprising how many Germans are here suddenly. I did not know any of them.


Omulangira(Prince) Abraham Lincoln Ndaula studied photography and filming in England
Omulangira(Prince) Abraham Lincoln Ndaula
studied photography and filming in England.

Michy was at Prince Richard Walugembe's birthday party yesterday. Prince Lincoln showed films to the children. Barbara now goes to Aunty Brice's Kindergarten. She likes it very much.

Barbara now goes to Aunty Brice's Kindergarten. She likes it very much.

Suzanne Parkinson has jaundice. Mrs. Parkinson had her baby last week... another girl, Sarah.

Michy did not have a birthday party yet. He wants to wait until Chris is back and Suzanne is well again.

After World War II Ugandans prepared for independence, which came in 1962. A general election was held, and a Westminster Cabinet-style government under Milton Obote was formed. A republic was declared in 1963, with the kabaka, Mutesa II, as president and Milton Obote as prime minister. Read more>>On October 9th Uganda is getting an African Head of State. The Parliament comes together this week. I am sure it will be a very interesting week. Kabaka Yekka says that they only went together with UPC because they promised that the Kabaka would become Head of State. I am really curious. His Highness is still in his headquarters at Ndaiga(The King of Buganda had a palace at Ndaiga).

A new Immigration Bill is expected. When the Immigration Bill is passed as proposed, we can pack up. For the first time Hubert does not talk about enlarging the house anymore. There will be no more Temporary Employment Passes and no more Permanent Residence Passes. The present Permanent Residence Passes will not be renewed. This means that Mr. Calvert, who has been in Uganda all his life and has lifetime residence, would have to leave the country. We could stay for another three years. Nobody believes however, that this law will be passed.

Two English women will have to leave the country. They had a scuffle with a prominent African in the White Nile Club.

We have tried out the pump. It is working but not quite completed yet.

Another piece of news: Obote got engaged. His bride is a former customer of you, Miss Miriam Kalule. She was the Secretary of UEB(Uganda Electricity Board). About 4 months ago she went to America to the United Nations. She is on her way back to Uganda by boat from Trieste. The wedding, the biggest that ever took place in Uganda, will be in November.

Lufthansa is getting landing rights for Nairobi soon.

September 25th, 1963

Michy is back in school. He was very much looking forward to go to school again. He has got a new teacher. For the first time he is not very enthusiastic about her.

The new Immigration Bill was passed yesterday. One can either become a Uganda citizen or leave the country as soon as the present permit expires. We do not believe in changing a nationality just for some advantages. There is, however, one provision so far as the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Onama, has the power to grant Immigration permits to highly qualified people, whose prolonged stay in Uganda is of national interest to Uganda. Whether Hubert belongs to these people well, we will know that in three years.

It is surprising how fast news go around the world. The speech regarding "hunting lions with spears" was only given a couple of days ago. Actually I am agreeing with Mr. Murumbi in this respect. Unfortunately not all Africans agree with him and many think, granting many hunting licenses would provide a big income for the country. They don't take into consideration that this very soon would lead to the game dying out und then there would be no more income flowing.

November 13th, 1963

We have killed a young Gaboon viper in our cactus-garden on Saturday.

As you probably all know Gaboon vipers give birth to their young ones. They don't hatch from eggs. We knew that a Gaboon viper is on top of the hill. This was probably one of her young ones. It was quite scary to me as Gaboon vipers are really very poisonous. Their poison affects the blood system as well as the nervous system. A Gaboon viper gives birth to about 50 to 60 babies at a time.

A Gaboon Viper
A Gaboon Viper.

I am sending you the Newspaper regarding the "Wedding of the Century" in the Christmas-parcel. The wedding cost 500,000.00 Shs. The bride was wearing a two rowed diamond crown. We very urgently do need further development help.

November 21st, 1963 - Letter to Gerd

A terrible car accident happened in Jinja. I enclose a news cutting.

A terrible car accident happened in Jinja
A terrible car accident happened in Jinja.

November 21st, 1963 - Letter to Gerd

Michy's house is roughly ready. (Hubert was building a house from wooden transportation boxes to house the electric railway.) As long as Hubert can start to build up the railway, it will be OK. He will be able to do the rest during the year.

December 16th, 1963 - Another letter to Gerd

So we don't know when we will be seeing you again as you now have to go to Nairobi first, in order to get a visa for Uganda.

TWILIGHT electric hooter for AUTOMATIC control of lighting
TWILIGHT electric hooter for AUTOMATIC control of lighting, turning on lights at nightfall and turning them off at dawn.

At the moment there are robbers at work again on the hill. They broke into the house where the Unsworth's used to live and into Jackie's car. A couple of days later they came to us. Fortunately the alarm went off, but we did not catch anybody. They disconnected the hooter-cable, but there was a second hooter and when they wanted to take out the spare wheel the alarm went off. Arco was sleeping in front of the sliding door. I am sure by now, that the dogs are useless. I guess they get doped.

By the way, Dr. Aliker is now a director of Cooper Motors.

Shortly after 8 o'clock this morning, Michy went swimming with Jackie Hitchens, Chris and Jan. The Chairman of Baumann's, Mr. Archer, has got a swimming pool in his garden on Prince Charles Drive and the children can come to swim there during the holidays.

Hubert is now mainly occupied with the railway. The wooden house is like a little summer villa. It is turning out really nice. One cannot see much of the railway yet. Some tracks have been fixed and the locomotives can run already. But that's about it at the moment. Hubert is working on plan 10 of the book you sent him. Michy has got a little church for his birthday and Barbara got a little house. For Christmas Michy will get an Upper-Bavarian farm-house. They are the models you have to build yourself. Michy is busy helping with the railway.

Kenya got UHURU. Delamere Avenue is now called Kenyatta Avenue. To the great surprise of all people, Kenyatta had his European wife come to Kenya. She accompanies him at all official functions. I think Kenyatta is looking very good. He certainly is a real personality. But the future is still uncertain. I always do hope that everything is advancing well here. No matter, whether Kenya, Tanganyika or Uganda East Africa is exceedingly beautiful and very promising. I do hope that stupid politics won't mess it up.

Michy got his report. His absence from school did not harm him. He is doing really well in all subjects. His teacher was very satisfied with his work and told me that he will at least go to the B Class if not A.

We are discussing the further education of the children. Theoretically they could go to the present school until grade 7. If Michy, however, stays at this school for another 2 to 3 years he will miss the connection to a German Gymnasium, which would mean, that he cannot go back to Germany at all.

Father Eudenbach was here recently. He has taken a lot of plants from my garden to the "lost counties". He had robbers twice but has installed a siren on his roof that scared them away.

Borgan (a car sales man with CMC) received a notice on December 11th that he has to leave the country together with his family on January 11th, 1964. Cooper Motors would like to keep him and they have asked for reconsideration, but we don't know the outcome yet. On December 24th, 1963 Cooper Motors expects the same decision for Mr. Hymas (a store keeper with CMC) as his visa is running out on January 24th, 1964. Hubert is still convinced, that we will not have any difficulties in that respect. Both Mr. Borgan and Mr. Hymas are not specially qualified people and can easily be replaced by Africans.

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By Sonja Winklmaier
more from author >>
First published: March 8, 2007
Sonja Winklmaier moved to Uganda in the 1950s to follow her husband, Hubert Winklmaier, as the German Volkswagen Factory sent him to work with their agent, Cooper Motor Corporation.

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