KAMPALA – The Ugandan government has endorsed President Yoweri Museveni’s official swearing-in day for a sixth term a public holiday, ICT and National Guidance Minister – Judith Nabakooba, confirmed during a press conference held in Kampala on Sunday.
President Museveni will take oath of office for the sixth consecutive, five-year term on Wednesday – May 12 – which day could turn out to serve as the Muslim community’s end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Muslims – all over the world – Uganda inclusive –are likely to embark on celebrations to mark the end of Ramadan on the evening of May 12 – ahead of Eid Al Fitri the following day – which automatically becomes another public holiday – although some sections of Muslim faithful were petitioning government for an additional extension of the break time.
Nabakooba told reporters that the organisers of the Wednesday event at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds had invited, slightly over 4000 guests; – including 21 heads of state – in close consideration to the Health Ministry’s guidelines against the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures – SOPs.
The Kololo function will attract attendance from 17 delegates and CEC members within the National Resistance Movement structures; Members of Parliament and members of the East African Legislative Assembly; former presidential candidates in the January 14 exercise; diplomats accredited to Uganda; outgoing ministers; religious leaders as well as notable members of the business community and civic organisations.
According to SOPs in place, political gatherings are restricted to only 200 people but Nabakooba was opportunistic that guests would be seated in smaller groups that do not threaten their lives – especially after taking the necessary precautions – including the testing for Covid-19.
“Guests must have undertaken a Covid-19 test three days to the function, with their respective results handed over to the organisers for authentication – this will be the sole yardstick for admission at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds. Anyone, whose result will turn out to be positive will be advised to stay away,” clarified Nabakooba, adding that there was no cause to worry for some people who would miss, ‘since the function will be relayed live on all national broadcasters.’
President Museveni, who came to power in 1986 through a people’s protracted war, beat 10 other candidates to win the January 14 General Election exercise with 58.64% of the total valid votes cast.