President Yoweri Museveni hosted the Commonwealth Parliament Conference heads of delegation for a state dinner on Friday evening.
Speaking during at the dinner, the president appealed to the delegates to stay longer and explore the ‘unequaled’ beauty of Uganda.
The event was attended among others; by the Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, the Deputy Chief Justice Owiny Dolo, First Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali and the Second Deputy Prime Minister Ali Kirunda Kivejinja.
Museveni entertained his audience with two songs, which he said were very important to him.
‘I will entertain you with two songs. One is a spiritual one, it will be played on the piano, it is a song we used to sing on the first day of the school term when coming from holidays,” he signaled for the organist to play an old hymn titled, Lord Dismiss us with thy blessing.
“The other is a song composed by Mzee Kaunda Kenneth of Zambia, a freedom song. It will be played by the band,” he signaled the band to the tune, “Tiyende Pamodzi ndim’tima umo”.
“I like the freedom songs and the church songs. I am not very good with disco songs,” he added.
He then called upon his guests to consider spending more time in experiencing the beauty of Uganda, which he said is the most beautiful spot on earth.
“I will give you some travel advice; where you are now is one of the most beautiful spots on earth and this is not biased it is just a cold fact. It so happens that we are right on the equator. Some of you visited the equator yesterday, now that’s the equator on the land but here in the lake the equator passes 200m from the southern end of the Entebbe runaway,” he said.
“We get the sun all year-round, yet it is not very hot because we have a high elevation. Here where you are seated is 1200m above sea level; some parts of Uganda go up to 5000m above sea level. There are only two other places with such beauty. One is Nanyuki in Kenya and the other is a place I have never been- Ecuador. Otherwise, for most of the globe, the equator is either in the ocean or the low-lying territory land. We are very lucky here. We have two rainy seasons in a year hence two harvests in a year just with the rain even before you add irrigation,’ he said.
Mr. Museveni told the guests, that included Nigerian legislator for Surulele Constituency and famous Nollywood actor Desmond Eliot, speakers from most African parliaments that Ugandan air is natural and fresh.
“I switched off air conditioning long ago because we don’t need it. We enjoy the air, no need to warm it or cool. If you can stay longer, it will be the best idea. Here we you are in the center of Africa. From here to Alexandria in Egypt in 5 and half hours and to Cape Town is 5 and a half hours by plane. It is equidistant. That is why all the rivers start from here.”
He later proposed a toast in honor of Queen Elizabeth the second. The Queen is the Head of the Commonwealth and is recognized by the members of the Commonwealth of Nations as the symbol of their free association.
The Commonwealth Parliament Association President and speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga on her part thanked President Museveni for always taking time to interact with foreign delegates.
“Whenever we have delegates here; The President makes it a point to interact with them. This has become routine. Thank you, Mr. President, for partnering with us.”