Published by New Vision of Uganda on Thursday
Security within and around the Speke Resort Munyonyo has been beefed up as more heads of state from the Great Lakes Region meet in Kampala.
So far five Presidents, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Michael Sata (Zambia) Jakaya Kikwete of TanzaniaMwai Kibaki (Kenya) and Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi) have arrived at Munyonyo. Sudanese Vice President Alhaj Adam Yusuf is representing indicted President of Sudan, Omar el Bashir.
Other Presidents or their representatives are expected to jet in any time to attend the region’s summit organised under the theme; United to prevent, end impunity and provide support to the victims of Sexual and Gender based violence in the Great Lakes Region.
While other presidents were quickly ushered into the holding room, Zambian President Sata, defied the protocol and freely mixed with delegates and locals, including exchanging pleasantries with the catering staff at the stables restaurant and eagle eyed journalists.
When his protocol officers asked him to leave the wanainchi he said, “Look at this bad man. He does not want me to mix with my people. These are my voters and the ones that give me power to deliberate on issues,” Sata remarked.
Apart from the usual police checks, every car has to go through a scanner to check for any weapons. Civilian traffic going to Munyonyo has been diverted and only accredited vehicles can access the venue.
One has to spend over 20 minutes going through the checks.
In the morning, police sniffer dogs roamed rooms and venues for the meeting for any bombs and other explosives. They were taken into the conference halls, gardens, lounges, kitchens, residential rooms and the lake area.
At the conference venue, the ministry of Information, Communication and Technology has set up a media centre fully packed with Computers and a stable and running internet to help journalists and delegates do their work.
In the morning, First ladies and ministers of gender held a side meeting to discuss issues of sexual and gender based violence. They called for tougher laws to prevent, end impunity and provide support to victims of sexual Gender based Violence.
By Catherine Bekunda and Henry Mukasa, The New Vision