By Felix Osike
Former minister for internal affairs Kirunda Kivenjinja wearing a Mandela shirt
South Africans this morning woke up to a nation without Nelson Mandela Madiba, the former president. Madiba as he was widely known was popular in life as in his death.
From his trademark “Mandela shirt” to his brand of politics he remains an icon to many Ugandans.
Ugandans remember the legendary Mandela for leading the country to independence in 1994 becoming South Africa’s first black president after over 300 years of white minority rule.
Mandela first visited Uganda at the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni in July 1990, five months after he was freed from jail where he had spent 27 years.
The late former Deputy Prime Minister Eriya Kategaya
On July 5, 1990 thousands of Ugandans and foreigners resident in Entebbe and Kampala thronged the road to the city to give a heroic welcome to Mandela who was then the African National Congress deputy president. During this trip he laid the foundation stone of the $32m Nelson Mandela Sports Complex at Namboole.
Official diplomatic relations between Uganda and South Africa were established on June 24, 1994. Details of this story in Saturday Vision.
Former East Africa Community Secretary General Amanya Mushega