By Apollo Mubiru
Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent Thursday night jetted into the country to represent Queen Elizabeth II for the jubilee celebrations.
The Duke and his entourage are today visiting a UK government-sponsored project in the western district of Masindi.
Uganda attained independence on October 9, 1962 and it was Prince Edward – Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin – who handed over the instruments of power to the then Prime Minister of Uganda, Milton Obote.
Coincidentally, the Duke of Kent was born on October 9, 1935.
It means that he will also mark his 77th birthday on the day of Uganda’s golden jubilee celebrations.
The celebrations will be held under the theme, “50-year Journey since Independence (1962- 2012): A Good Foundation for Social and Economic Transformation.”
More dignitaries are expected to arrive in the country today and a state banquet for all the special dignitaries will be held on Monday – the eve of the D-day – at Entebbe State house.
The newly elected presidents of Egypt (Mohamed Morsi) and Somalia (Hassan Mohamud) are among the heads of state who have confirmed attendance of the commemorative event.
The 15 countries whose heads of state will come to Uganda include Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Egypt, Somalia, Congo Brazzaville, Central African Republic, Malawi, Gambia, and Benin.
Countries whose leaders will send delegations include China, United Kingdom (UK), South Africa, USA, Nigeria, and Sudan.
Some of the heads of state will join President Yoweri Museveni on October 8 at the commissioning of Bujagali power dam near Jinja.