Ugandans welcome new year

By Vision Reporter

CRAZY scenes could be seen in the streets of Kampala as a dazzling display of double fireworks went off to usher in the new year.

By Steven Candia
And Hillary Kiirya


CRAZY scenes could be seen in the streets of Kampala as a dazzling display of double fireworks went off to usher in the new year.

City dwellers, who were used to the fireworks from the Sheraton Hotel, got a double treat this year as the sky lit up simultaneously above the newly-opened Serena Hotel.

The 15 minutes of the breath-taking spectacle drew cheers from hordes of frenzied spectators. With each deafening bang that greeted 2007, the joy rose to a feverish pitch among the viewers who thronged the venues and jammed the streets.

Many leapt in the air, hugged, whistled and danced, while others peeled off their shirts and drove around honking.
Revellers in the city and its suburbs packed popular night spots like the Blue Africa Bar and Rock Gardens and partied deep into the night as the new year got off to a spirited start.

Similar scenes of joy played out in Mbarara town, where fireworks from Vision Empire Discotheque in the town centre and at the Lake View Resort Hotel lit the night sky.

It was not all joy, however. Two deaths were reported in the city as well as several cases of muggings and theft.
In other parts, for the first time in 20 years, the Acholi sub-region in northern Uganda ushered in the new year peacefully.

In Gulu, there were fireworks at two separate places and people danced up to the morning hours.

In Unyama displaced people’s camp, 7km from Gulu, a former LRA commander, Onen Kamdulu, staged a thrilling disco performance to excited revellers.

Gulu District Police Commander Yasin Ndimwibo said apart from a murder case at Pece Pawel sub-ward in Gulu Municipality, there were no serious crimes reported throughout the end-of-year celebrations.

Additional reporting by
Dennis Ojwee and
Raymond Baguma

Ugandans welcome new year