SIRâ€” I would like to clarify a couple of issues raised by The Monitor columnist Charles Onyango Obbo in his article â€œKaguta wants to be a Tarzan, not a Mandelaâ€ in Mondayâ€™s edition.
The truth of the matter is that The Royal Tour will cover just a few specially selected countries. In Africa, Uganda as usual, was their first choice; as has been the case since 1986.
President Museveni did not selfishly choose to be the tour guide, as Obboâ€™s â€œcorrespondentâ€ is trying to make people believe. It is a policy of the Discovery Channel that the leaders of the chosen countries lead the tour themselves.
In the very first Royal Tour programme filmed in Jordan, King Abdullah himself was their guide â€“ as Obboâ€™s â€œcorrespondentâ€ would have known had he bothered to do some very basic research.
I would also like to argue that it makes sense for the presidents to be the tour guides; viewers are more likely to pay attention to a programme if it involves a head of state. Even when it came to fighting AIDS in Uganda, people listened because the head of state was involved and thus a crisis was stemmed. Besides, when a leader chooses to play the lead role in building the image of his country in a bid to boost its tourism potential, it is evidence he is foresighted and pragmatic.
Mary Karooro Okurut,
Press Secretary to the President
Discovery Channel Organising Committee
Museveni Is Much More Than The Caricature Onyango Obbo Tends To Present!