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Chinese mark Tomb Sweeping Day by remembering Namboole experts

By Geoffrey Mutegeki

Added 5th April 2018 08:26 PM

On Thursday, a memorial ceremony was held at Namboole stadium in Wakiso district to celebrate the death of, Hu Yexing, Kong Huiping, Bao Jinping and Wang Guorui, who worked with Complant Company, which constructed the stadium. The four were buried at the stadium.

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On Thursday, a memorial ceremony was held at Namboole stadium in Wakiso district to celebrate the death of, Hu Yexing, Kong Huiping, Bao Jinping and Wang Guorui, who worked with Complant Company, which constructed the stadium. The four were buried at the stadium.

PIC: The state minister for education, rosemary Sseninde and the Charge d'Affairs of the Chinese embassy, Chu Maoming lay flowers on the monument for four Chinese experts who died during the construction of Mandela National Stadium in Namboole. This was during the memorial ceremony at Namboole, Kira municipality, Wakiso district, March 05, 2018. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)

TOMB SWEEPING DAY


WAKISO - In 1994, four Chinese experts lost their lives during the construction of Mandela National Stadium-Namboole.

On Thursday, a memorial ceremony was held at Namboole stadium in Wakiso district to celebrate the death of, Hu Yexing, Kong Huiping, Bao Jinping and Wang Guorui, who worked with Complant Company, which constructed the stadium. The four were buried at the stadium.

It is over 20 years since the stadium was opened and the Chinese community still values the ‘sacrifice’ of their loved ones.

The memorial service is in line with Qingming Festival also known as Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb Sweeping Day, which falls on either April 4 or 5 of the Gregorian calendar.

Dignitaries from the Chinese Embassy in Uganda, education, and foreign affairs ministries attended the ceremony.

According to the Chinese tradition, tomb sweeping is regarded as the most important custom in the Qingming Festival from which the name of Tomb-Sweeping Day was derived.

Cleaning the tomb and paying respect to the dead with offerings are the two important parts of remembering the relatives.

Mourners hold flowers at the burial site of four Chinese experts who died during the construction of the Mandela National Stadium Namboole. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)


During the ceremony, mourners gathered at the tomb, which is within the stadium complex and laid flowers.

Namboole stadium has a sitting capacity of 42,000 people and was constructed between 1992 and 1997 at a cost of sh30b, with funding from China.

Joseph Esonyu, the former secretary for sports and one of the people who supervised the stadium construction, says three of the Chinese died after a truck run over them as they constructed a culvert, while one fell off a crane.

The Charge d’ Affairs of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China Chu Maoming, described the four as heroes, who interpreted the spirit of internationalism with their lives.

“They are heroes who built the monument of friendship between China-Uganda and China-Africa. Their names with this stadium will be remembered in the heart of Chinese people and the Ugandan people,” Maoming says.

Mourners hold flowers at the burial site of four Chinese experts who died during the construction of the Mandela National Stadium Namboole. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)

Rosemary Seninde, the state minister for primary education, commended the Chinese government for its continued support and co-operation with Uganda, which dates back to 1962.

“The Chinese government’s commitment is a clear demonstration of a viable bilateral co-oporation, which should be maintained. We celebrate today because these people sacrificed their lives and the legacy they left behind will last for generations,” Seninde says.

Zhao Xiufen, the economic and commercial counsellor of the Embassy of China to Uganda, revealed how China is the second major trade partner of Uganda.

This year also marks the 56th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Uganda.
Jamil Sewanyana, the manager Namboole Stadium commended the Chinese government for the continued support towards the stadium.

He revealed that they would do renovations for the stadium next year.

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