Vol No: 83,
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Blue watch

Uganda ready to host this month’s Commonwealth Summit

THE Government of Uganda has expressed satisfaction with security preparedness ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) this month. This was revealed by the Minister for Security, Hon. Amaama Mbabazi, while briefing members of the press at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently.

“We are quite satisfied with security preparedness and Uganda is safe to host CHOGM,” Hon. Mbabazi stated. “We shall be running drills starting this week and I would like to invite members of the press to participate.”

Security has also been beefed up at the airport, venues for meetings and places of residence during CHOGM. However, Hon. Mbabazi assured the public that security enhancement shall not focus only on Kampala but all sections of the country. He added that both plain clothed and uniformed security personnel have already been deployed and confirmed the installation of security cameras alongside busy roads and in public places.

“We have procured CCTV cameras and installed them to ensure robust security from the airport to CHOGM venues as well as public areas,” the minister said.

He further added that security personnel have received additional training, specifically in counter terrorism and intelligence.

Present at the press briefing was Inspector General of Police, Major General Kale Kaihura.

New Secretary General The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), shall as part of the agenda, appoint a new Secretary-General (SG) to take over from Rt. Hon. Don McKinnon. This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary (PS) Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Ambassador James Mugume, while addressing the press at the ministry building.

The two contenders for the post are the Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma and Maltese Foreign Minister, Dr. Michael Frendo.

The incoming Secretary- General shall appoint a deputy upon expiry of Mrs. Florence Mugasha’s tenure in April next year.

On Zimbabwe he ruled out the attendance of Zimbabwe for the Kampala Summit.

“The question of Zimbabwe being welcome does not arise. Once you quit the Commonwealth, readmission can only occur after reapplying.

Zimbabwe cannot re-apply this year because in 2005, it was decided that their membership be reviewed after a report that will establish the process and criteria of admissions,” he said.

At the same briefing, the PS said that Uganda had invited Rwanda as its “special guest” to CHOGM, as a gesture intended to aid Rwanda’s bid to join the Commonwealth.

Rwanda, with some other francophone countries, has applied to join the grouping and their applications are due for consideration in Trinidad and Tobago, 2009.

“If a country hosts CHOGM, it is given an opportunity to invite special guests who may not be members of the Commonwealth,” Amb. Mugume added.

President Kagame will address the Commonwealth Business Forum on business opportunities within the region.


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