Uganda celebrates its 59th anniversary of independence today, the second without the usual countrywide celebrations due to restrictive measures enacted to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
The historic October 9 celebrations will be marked in a “scientific manner,” with only a small number of guests expected to attend today’s ceremony at the Kololo ceremonial grounds in Kampala.
Mr Peter Ogwang, State Minister for Economic Monitoring in the President’s Office, told Parliament this week that only 570 people were invited to the Kololo event. President Museveni will preside over the celebrations, which begin at 11 a.m.
“Aware that the Covid-19 pandemic is still roaming large, this year’s celebration will be scientific. In other words, not more than 500 guests have been invited to physically be in Kololo. The rest of Ugandans will celebrate quietly at home. The activities in Kololo will be relayed live on televisions and radios and, therefore, people are advised to watch the proceedings from the comfort of their homes,” he said.
This year’s theme, ‘Celebrating Our 59th Independence Day as We Secure Our Future Through National Mindset Change,’ is largely drawn from the 2021/2026 National Resistance Movement (NRM) manifesto, “securing our future,” that delivered President Museveni his 6th elective term of Office.
“When you look at the National Development Plan III, one of the 18 programme areas is on the mindset change and I want to implore all of us, and the leading ministry, the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, followed by ICT, [that] it is important we help government in trying to disseminate, talk to our people as far as mindset change is concerned,” Mr Ogwang said.
President Museveni partially reopened the country last month after a second nationwide lockdown, limiting the number of people in a gathering to 200, according to the capacity of the venue. The measure to limit gatherings has remained in place, following projections and warnings from the Ministry of Health of a more severe third wave of the pandemic.