The number of presidents who have confirmed they will attend Uganda’s celebrations to mark 50 years of independence has risen to 26.
The Uganda Minister of Information and National Guidance Mary Karooro Okurut told Red Pepper Online last night that all is set for the jubilee celebrations.
And according to information obtained from the Uganda Media Centre, these presidents will be joined by 40 delegations from different countries including China and the United States. The presidents include newly elected presidents of Egypt Mohamed Morsi and Somalia Hassan Mohamud.
The other heads of state are Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Pierre Nkrunziza of Burundi, Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Congo Brazzaville, and Joyce Banda of Malawi. The other heads of state who have confirmed are from Central African Republic, Gambia, Benin.
Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, who handed over instruments of power to the first post independent Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Apollo Militon Obote, has already arrived in the country to represent Her Majesty the Queen of England Elizabeth II. Britain is Uganda’s former colonial master.
At the heart of the celebrations will be a state of the art pavilion constructed by the engineering brigade of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces. The UPDF says construction work which started in May seeing the pavements and roads leading to the grounds face-lifted, has cost them some 14 billion shillings.
Meanwhile, Minister Karooro has directed all electronic media to start popularizing the Uganda National Anthem ahead of the celebrations.
“Chapter Two, Article 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda lists the National Anthem as one of the National Symbols. It is an obligation for all Ugandan citizens to learn and know, how to sing, and appreciate the message in our National Anthem,” she directed in a statement this week.
She argued that the Uganda National Anthem carries very rich and patriotic messages that guide Ugandans towards performance of our duties, as citizens and the country celebrates 50 years of our independence, and look to the future, Government is enjoining the media to popularise the National Anthem as a noble social responsibility contribution by the media, towards National awareness.
“This is, therefore, to request that airing all the three (3) Stanzas of our National Anthem be given prominence in your media house. This should be played at the beginning of every news bulletin.”