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By Godfrey Olukya 9-2-2012

Uganda has today marked 50 of it’s independence in style with over ten heads of governments attending the colorful celebration.

Among the presidents who attended the ceremony are Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and Joseph Kabila of democratic republic of Congo. Others are from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Egypt.

Over ten countries were represented by either the vice presidents or prime ministers. According to the government officials, the number of heads of states would have been 15 had it not been for last minute cancellation by the presidents of Gambia, Namibia, and Central African republic.

The main ceremony has been held at Kololo airstrip, in the outskirts of the city, the very place where the occasion at which Uganda was handed over independence was held on 9th October 1962.

A fabulous guard of honor has been held before a long parade by soldiers, policemen and students took over two hours was witnessed.

Air-force planes added color to the celebrations when they flew in patterns above the place where the function took place.

In his speech, the host president Yoweri Museveni talked about the achievements so far attained since independence.

He said,’ Uganda has moved ahead and will continue developing especially now that we have discovered oil.’

One of the celebrants, 70 yr old Apolo Okuti,who was there as Uganda was being granted independence said,’ Being independent for 50 years is great.We may have had some problems but at least we can now independently forge our way forward as a nation.’

The late Milton Obote became the country’s first Prime Minister and was given the instruments of power by a Queen’s representative in
1962. He was overthrown by Idi Amin who turned into a dictator, killing thousands of civilians.

On the streets of Kampala are long stretches of lawn with a décor of red, black and yellow all over reflecting the colors on the national
flag. Buildings along the streets have placards reading, ’50 yrs that is great,’ ‘Congratulations Uganda’, ‘Golden Jubilee Anniversary.’.

Britain, the former colonialist has been represented by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent who in 1962 handed over power to Uganda. Interestingly, he was born on October 9, 1935, and has also celebrated his 77th birthday today.

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