Presidents Stranded in Kololo Transport Glitch

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In short
For over 40 minutes, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Tanzanias John Pombe Magufuli and his predecessors Jakaya Kikwete and Ali Hassan Mwinyi were kept waiting.

A transport glitch left two sitting presidents, former heads of state and several other dignitaries stranded at Kololo Airstrip after the swearing-in ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni this afternoon.

For over 40 minutes, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Tanzania's John Pombe Magufuli and his predecessors Jakaya Kikwete and Ali Hassan Mwinyi were kept waiting along with Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Salma Kikwete, wife to former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.

Their host Yoweri Museveni had departed Kololo Independence Grounds upon completion of the formal event.

The glitch was saved by Luweero Resident District Commissioner Alice Muwanguzi who alerted protocol officers to speed up the transportation process.

Uganda Radio Network has learnt the vehicles had been parked at the Heroes Corner, located a few metres away from the independence grounds.  It's however not yet clear why the pick-up was delayed. 

As the presidents waited, anxious journalists attempted to engage them in an interview. They however declined.  The long wait was later turned into a photo opportunity between the various dignitaries and the journalists.

Former Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete told a section of journalists who are interested in politics not to hesitate to invite him once they become presidents.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by 17 heads of state including among others; Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Sudan's Omar Hassan Al Bashir, Tanzania's John Pombe Magufuli, South Sudan's Salva Kiir, Equatorial Guinea's Theodore Obiang Nguema, Cameroon Prime Minister Philemon Yang, Zambia's Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Mali's Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Chad's Idriss Deby, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Prime Minister Hailmariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and the King of Lesotho Letsi III, among others.


About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.