In Uganda, the capital of Kampala had an unusual air of normalcy and ceremony on Tuesday (22 May) when Parliament was formally re-opened.
In Uganda, the capital of Kampala had an unusual air of normalcy and ceremony on Tuesday (22 May) when Parliament was formally re-opened. President Yusufu Lule led the ceremonies. On the same day, the government announced it was preparing murder charges against 'Major' Bob Astles, the British-born adviser of former President Idi Amin. When they were ready, extradition proceedings could begin against Mr. Astles who has been held in police custody in Kenya.
SYNOPSIS: Large crowds turned out to savour the re-opening to Parliament after eight years of oppression under Amin. Dancers in native costume brought a festive note that lightened the gravity of an important moment for the country.
Members of parliament face a gigantic task to restore Uganda from the economic and social morass into which it had plunged since 1971.
President Lule greets dignitaries and MPs as they arrive. He had been cheered hours before the ceremony at the news that a Commonwealth delegation was due in Kampala the following day (23 May). The government had asked the ten-man delegation to come and help plan the rebuilding of the economy by recommending priorities in financial and technical subjects. The delegation was expected to stay for up to four weeks preparing a draft proposal for reconstruction, which its members hoped the government would approve before they left.
It was also on May the twenty-second that the Financial Times of London reported that the European Commission had sent a team of development aid experts to Uganda to talk over ways that the European Economic Community (EEC) can help rebuild the country.
The Community has more than seventy million units of accounts -- worth almost fifty million U.S. dollars -- available to commit to Uganda during the next ten months. It's the largest sum ever set aside for this type of emergency aid.