By Ricks Kayizzi and Chris Omony
UGANDA is set to mark 100 years since it was named the â€œPearl of Africaâ€ by Sir. Winston Churchill, the former British prime minister.
Churchill visited the country in June 1908, and was amazed by its intrinsic beauty.
Anatoli Kamugisha, the managing director of Akright Projects, one of the coordinators of the celebrations, said preparations were in high gear. He said local and foreign-based Ugandans would attend the mid-June event.
Kamugisha explained that over 60 black mayors from several US cities would grace the occasion at the Akright Kakungulu Satellite City on Entebbe Road.
â€œPreparations are almost complete, and an advance team from the US, led by Kayanja Kabuye, were in the country last week to ensure everything is in order,â€ he told journalists at his Kimathi Avenue offices in Kampala.
Kabuye is a real estate developer in the US. He led an advance team of George Grace, the mayor of St. Gabriel, Louisiana and four other unnamed officials.
Kamugisha said Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, the vice-president, was expected to preside over the function, during which achievers who have made a significant contribution to the development of the country will be awarded.
â€œSeveral people who have worked towards transforming peopleâ€™s lives in the social, economic, and cultural sectors will be awarded trophies and certificates of appreciation,â€ he said.
Kamugisha, who said the celebrations would be held under the theme: â€œTransforming Society and Promoting Orderly Living Environment,â€ will also see celebrities planting 1,000 trees in the Celebrity Forest, which was launched last year.
He said a tree to commemorate the rejuvenation of the Pearl of Africa spirit, which calls for conservation and restoration of the broken environment, will be planted at Anatoli Gardens, which forms the highest point in the 3,000 plot housing estate.
Vanessa Williams, the head of the National Council of Black Mayors, a singer and the first black woman to be elected Miss US, will attend the event.