and Stuart Price
AFTER a thundering 21-gun salute welcome, an armoured convoy of at least 25 vehicles snaked its way from Entebbe International Airport to Kampala with Presidents Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart, Mwai Kibaki who is making a maiden state visit to Uganda.
Riding in the open-top presidential black 600 Mercedes, Museveni and his guest, who is visiting for three-days, waved to smiling people waving Ugandan and Kenyan flags on the way to Munyonyo Resort on Lake Victoria shoreline.
The 72-year old Kenyan leaderâ€™s white and grey Kenya Airforce Fokker 70 landed yesterday at 3:20pm. As it taxied, Kenyan flags danced briskly on each side of the cockpit in the warm Lake Victoria breeze blowing across the peninsular.
The same red carpet, which welcomed US President George Bush, just six days earlier, was laid out to receive the Kenyan leader who swept to a landslide victory in last Decemberâ€™s presidential elections.
During his the campaign trail, Kibaki was nearly crippled in a road accident between Nairobi and Mombasa.
Emerging from the aircraft, a smiling Kibaki, clad in a charcoal grey suit and accompanied by his wife Lucy, waved to their hosts before descending the steps to the red carpet. The couple was greeted warmly by Museveni, in a light-grey suit and trade-mark khaki Stetson hat, and wife Janet, who wore a brown and forest green flowing outfit. The visiting couple then received bouquets of flowers from waiting children.
Museveni accompanied his guest from the plane and introduced him to various Uganda and Kenyan government officials who included the foreign affairs minister James Wapakhabulo, public service minister Henry Kajura, presidency minister Kirunda Kivejinja and Army Commander Major General Aronda Nyakairima. Kenyaâ€™s High Commissioner to Uganda Magdaleine Wambua and Ugandaâ€™s High Commissioner to Kenya Brigadier Matayo Kyaligonza were present.
Museveni led Kibaki to a podium draped in Uganda national colours, before the UPDF artillery facing Lake Victoria fired a booming gun 21 times in honour of Kibakiâ€™s arrival.
The UPDF band played their respective national anthems.
The army band then played marching martial music to which Kibaki inspected the presidential guard of honour. The leaders were entertained by dancers as they walked to their waiting motorcade.
Mwai Kibaki Gets 21-Gun Salute