President Museveni toasts to Queen Elizabeth's life

Friday 16th June 2017

President Yoweri Museveni has condemned acts of terrorism and noted that its perpetrators inflict violence indiscriminately without good reasons.

“We condemn terrorism. Terrorists inflict violence without good reasons. If you disagree you can solve issues through dialogue. The terrorists use violence indiscriminately. They are bankrupt ideologically,” he said.

The President was speaking last evening in reference to a number of terrorism incidents that took place recently in London the British capital. He expressed his condolences and sympathy to the people of Britain over the incidents as well as the fire that gutted an apartment structure on Wednesday night this week also in London. He described fire the incident as a misfortune.

President Museveni made the remarks at the residence of the British High Commissioner at Nakasero in Kampala during celebrations marking the official birthday of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth the second. The event also marked the year of the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee as she made 65 years of her reign on the British throne.

The President congratulated Queen on her 91st birthday and thanked God for her long life and reign that has run for 65 years. He informed guests that he has been following the progress of the Queen since she ascended to the throne in 1952 and also commissioned the Owen Falls Dam in Jinja when she visited Uganda in 1954.

Mr. Museveni observed that the relations between Britain and Uganda are very good. He commended Britain for assisting Uganda in our recovery process adding the first help from Britain was the refurbishment of Owen Falls Dam. He noted that at the time of its commissioning in 1954, Owen Falls Dam had a capacity of 150 megawatts. However, through the British aid, the Dam’s capacity was increased to 180 megawatts up from 60 megawatts that the facility was generating in 1986.

President Museveni advised the people of Uganda to take advantage of the good relations prevailing between Britain and Uganda. He stressed the need to emphasize investments, tourism, technical cooperation and trade between the 2 Commonwealth member countries and commended the investments in the Ugandan economy by a number of British companies.

He said British business companies have made a big contribution to the generation of wages and taxes in Uganda and observed that foreign direct investments are good at creating money and jobs. He expressed happiness that Uganda has benefited because investment companies are using our utilities thereby benefiting the communities at large. He said through trade between Britain and Uganda, the 2 countries are supporting each other’s prosperity. He, therefore, called for more trade between them.

With regard to development projects, the President commended the British contribution to the construction of the road that links Ntungamo Town to the Rwanda border in South Western Uganda. He informed guests that Uganda has got a big potential in the tourism sector and said all that is needed is the maintenance of peace and looking after the wildlife as the major tasks of the proper packaging of Uganda’s tourism.

The British High Commissioner to Uganda, Mr. Peter West, noted that Uganda has come a long journey said that the relations between Uganda and Britain have grown.

He commended Uganda for solidarity with refugees noting that as the country is slated to host the Solidarity Summit shortly, is indicative of Uganda’s immense contribution to the care of refugees.

High Commissioner West stressed that the promotion of the private sector is the sure way of attaining economic development adding that Uganda has already achieved that. He expressed the hope that Uganda and Britain would remain faithful friends. Last evening, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni celebratred the official birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in the year of her Sapphire Jubilee and 65th anniversary of her reign this year at the British High Commissioner’s residence. 

President Museveni, the Chief Guest at the celebrations said he has ardently followed the events of Her Majesty since her coronation ceremony, "I was a bit young, I remember; my mother showed me a picture of a young lady and said, this is the Queen of England."

At the same event Mr. Museveni reminisced Queen Elizabeth's 1954 visit to Uganda at the inauguration of the Owen falls dam and Queen Elizabeth National Park. 

President Museveni shared with the guests present, that he had to wait until the year 1996 to meet Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham palace.

"The role of the Queen is very important. Our relationship with Kenya was not good at some point during Mzee Moi’s reign; we used the opportunity of the Common wealth which was sitting in Vancouver to bring peace between the two countries. 

We were forced to talk because of her presence," President Museveni said.

He added, "I salute and thank God for her long life and reign as the Queen of England."

His Excellency credited England's good working relationship with Uganda and continuous support in the latter's economic recovery walk. Citing on how the British government lent a hand in the upgrade of the Owen falls dam from 60 mega watts to 180 mega watts; "that was the beginning of our economic recovery.

Mr. Museveni said a long lasting realtionship is dependant on three key aspects; investments, trade and tourism. 

"Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), a very good way of spreading prosperity globally. FDI has helped China become the second largest economy in the world." 

He went further, "trade by imports and exports between the two countries; and lastly, Tourism, which brings in easy money, unlike other sectors."

President Museveni concluded: "I want to extend my condolences to the British for the misfortunes that have been afflicting them of recent (the terror attacks and fire). We condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks."

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