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Butime optimistic Commonwealth Speakers will become Uganda’s ambassadors

Speakers of Singapore and Tonga joined Uganda’s Tayebwa for a round of golf with the Japanese community led by Japan Ambassador to Uganda Fukuzawa Hidemoto at Entebbe Golf Course which is East Africa’s oldest golf course.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Tourism Tom Butime has urged members of the just-ended Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth to be ambassadors of what Uganda offers to the world.

The minister was addressing speakers at the Entebbe-based Uganda Wildlife Education and Conservation Centre (UWECC) where they had gone for a tour at the close of the twenty-seventh Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers (CSPOC) on Saturday.

The guests were led by Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, Thomas Tayebwa to the UWECC tour.

At least thirty-three speakers have been in the country for the conference that kicked off on January 3rd and ended on Saturday, January 6th.

As the conference ended, some of the Ugandans wondered whether it was worth the amount of money spent by the Parliament of Uganda and the government to host it.

The Ministry of Tourism however positioned itself to use the occasion to market Uganda’s Tourism Industry.

This particular came after several security alerts had been issued by the US and the UK urging their nationals to be cautious when visiting Uganda.

When Tom Butiime met some of the speakers and members of their delegations at the former Entebbe Zoo, he kept on emphasizing Uganda’s tourism attractions which included some of the animals at Uganda Wildlife Education and Conservation Centre.   Uganda Wildlife Education and Conservation Centre is a limited conservation area but allows a guest to explore almost all Uganda has to offer in terms of wildlife within a limited period.

UWECC executive director, James Musinguzi explained to the guests that Uganda was one of the few lucky countries that had diverse eco-systems on both extremes and the beasts they were to see are habited at the zoo in such an approach.

The visitors got a close watch of different beasts including the Sumatran tiger (imported from India), rhinos, lions, crocodiles, snakes, elephants, chimpanzees, otters, donkeys and rare birds among others.  The birds included cranes, pea-cocks, and marabou storks among others.

The caged big cats were released and given the opportunity to feed for the sight of the guests.  However, it was the sight of the chimpanzees that was most exhilarating for the visitors as the beasts portrayed their community leadership, behaviours, discipline and intelligence.

Shortly before they were fed, Dan Mirembe, the custodian at the Chimpanzee area had explained about the animals that he said were ninety-seven percent of man’s DNA (genetic formation).    Mirembe explained about Aluma, the reigning king among the chimps.  He disclosed that Aluma was the longest reigning king at the chimp community (ten years now), having succeeded Matooke who was “voted” out because of greed and selfishness.

Matooke still lives but still exhibits his excesses that guests were able to see.  Zakayo, once the oldest chimp at UWECC died in April 2018 at 54 but Aminah, his widow still lives.   The guests were taken to Zakayo’s grave where they paid their respects.

UWECC executive director later said the centre had been privileged to have hosted the guests who he said had had an opportunity of seeping different aspects of flora and fauna at close range.  The guests, he said had enjoyed the experience, promising to return with family members to explore more.

In line with Conference’s theme of preserving and conserving bio-diversity, the visitors planted five indigenous tree species and started a “parliamentary” garden to commemorate the visit.

Each of the trees planted was named after the planter who undertook to support its conservation and visit it in future, a signature act that amounted to future tourism investment by the UWECC.



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