Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Trip to Parliment

Yesterday we visited the Ugandan Parliament for a meeting with the Commissioner of Parliament and M.P for Kabula County, James Kakooza. He is a very affable politician and gave us a long interview on the events surrounding the coup of Idi Amin in 1971. He was also one of the key architects of 'Kisanja', the programme to secure President Museveni a third term and as such is very well connected within Government. Today we are hoping to meet Henry Nyemba, a Minister under Amin who fled to London when the extremes of the regime got too much and published 'A State of Blood' (a comprehensive account of Amin's early years) in exile.

The Parliament building, like all public offices, is receiving its 'CHOGM' makeover at the moment but still stands impressively dominant in the heart of Kampala. The meeting was set up by a good friend of mine in the postgraduate hall who used to work for the governing National Resistance Movement Party but is now on a two-year study leave. He is well-known around Parliament and was greeted by everybody including the Chief Whip and the Foreign Minister, whom with we shared a lift. It is amusing watching student politicians with aspirations in the party desperately trying to cosy up to him in the canteen or common room. He is firmly 'on a break' though so I think they are destined to be disappointed.

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