Pope to visit Uganda
28 October 2014, 11:35
Kampala - Pope Francis plans to visit Uganda to officiate the 50th anniversary of the canonisation of Uganda Catholic martyrs at Namugongo in 2015.
The Pope was Monday meeting President Yoweri Museveni at his office at the Papal building in the Cati Cano.
The President was accompanied by First Lady, Janet Museveni and a powerful government delegation including minister for Local Government Adolf Mwesigye, the Chief Whip Hon. Kasule Lumumba and minister for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem.
Others in the delegation included LCV chairperson Kamuli District, Salaam Musumba, who is representing leaders of local governments, Mama Theresa Mbire who is a senior advisor of the President representing the Laity Catholics, MP Margret Alepune who is representing the Catholic Chapter in the Parliament, Monsignor Odongo, the Vicar General of Gulu Diocese representing the Archbishop, and Mzee Victor Kobero who is representing the business community. Mengo was represented by Kalule Mugerwa.
A statement issued by Uganda's deputy press secretary for state house, Lindah Nabusayi said that Museveni is on a four day work visit to Italy.
The Pope explained that he is willing and looking forward to the trip. He said that Uganda martyrs are very important in the Catholic Church.
“I am willing to come to Uganda,” the Pope stressed.
According to the statement, President Museveni arrived at the Vatican at 9.00 am Rome local time and inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Papal guards who were clad in their yellow uniform with dark blue and red stripes. The boots had the same yellow stripes.
After the guard of honour, the President was led inside the building by two lines of papal officials led by the Popes' "gentlemen”.
The gentlemen, according to Vatican officials, usher in very important visitors. They wore grey suits and white tee-shirts with Christian medals.
Museveni was later taken to the Pope's office where he had a one-on-one meeting that lasted half an hour. Later, the first lady was introduced to the Pope.
President Museveni introduced his delegation to his host by their names one by one as they shook hands with the Pope.
''After the official delegation, the humble Pope invited a team of the Presidential Press Unit and other members of staff who accompanied the President to greet him. Dr Mumtaz Kassam also greeted him. Uganda's ambassador to the Vatican Marcel Tibaleka, Victor Paul Kobel of Tororo, and Aleper Margaret Achilla, Woman Representative Kotido were also present,'' read the statement.
The Pope gave gifts to his visitors including rosaries and his book on Faith and Social development. He also gave a St. Martin Medal named after an important missionary in the Catholic church to the President.
President Museveni in return gave the Pope a copy of his book Sowing the Mustard Seed and a portrait of the Crested Crane, Uganda's symbol. Later President Museveni held talks with Cardinal Pietro Parolin the Secretary of State of the Vatican.
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