Saturday 28 November 2015

UGANDA: Viva Papa, Viva Papa, Viva Papa - Pope Jets Into Uganda

17:03pm: Anne Jasmine Bamwine, 6, is among the three children chosen to hand flowers to Pope Francis as he steps on Ugandan soil.

17:07pm: Pope Francis' shepherd one lands at Entebbe International Airport.

17:12pm: Bishops make their way to receive the pope, the team to receive the pope on behalf of the government also moves forward. President Museveni leads government, Diplomats and religious leaders in welcoming the Pope to Uganda.

Bishops head out to meet Pope Francis at Entebbe Airport.

17:28: Pope Francis alights the Shepherd One, exchanges pleasantries with President Museveni. Now the Vatican anthem playing. Meanwhile a gun salute for the pope.

17:40pm: Pope Francis greets bishops and other dignitaries.

17:41pm: Archbishop of Gulu diocese Odama has had his day in the sun, and enjoyed it, introducing all Bishops to the Pope. Now president takes over.

After the pope made his way to the VVIP lounge towards his waiting official car. Meanwhile, people could be heard chanting: "no change, our man." The Pope then got into his car (KIA) and set off for statehouse.

The Holy Father rides in a small KIA Soul from Entebbe Airport, supplied by The Motorcenter EA, the KIA distributors in Uganda.

18:22pm: Pope Francis arrives at State House Entebbe, he and Museveni have a one on one. Vatican Spokesman Federico Lombardi in the room too.

18:35pm: Vatican secretary of state, Archbishop Parolini and Cardinal Turkson for peace and Justice of the Holy Sea enter State House room. House rises and claps.

18:36pm: Pope enters room at State House to address diplomats and senior government officials.

18:41pm: President Museveni invites Pope Francis to address diplomats at State House.

18:51pm: Pope says he is happy to be in Uganda, calls for unity, justice and reconciliation

Pope Francis last night declared Africa a “land of hope”, urging Uganda to invest in its young population and use the country’s “abundant” natural resources to benefit both current and future generations.

In a brief speech at State House Entebbe, which assembled diplomats, senior government and cultural leaders repeatedly interrupted with cheers and hand-clapping, the pontiff described Uganda as a “great nation”.

He praised the country for opening its doors with compassion to receive refugees and allowing them rebuild their lives in “security and dignity”.

The Pope said Uganda’s national motto, For God and My Country, reminds of the role moral rectitude and a commitment to common good have played and continue to play in the social, economic and political life of the country.

“This reminds us to seek truth, work for justice, reconciliation and respect and protect one another as members of one human family,” he said.

He told the officials, including Opposition leaders, to ensure just distribution of the dividends of Uganda’s God-granted resources.

The Pope said his six-day, three-nation maiden Africa tour was to draw global attention to the continent; its hope, promise, travails and achievements. “

The world looks to Africa as the continent of hope,” he said, and cautioned government officials of the “challenges” of managing the blessings of abundant natural resources to benefit all citizens.

Speaking with excitement about his scheduled meeting with 10,000 youth at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, the Holy Father extolled the role of young people as the future and hope of the country, and the world, if well-educated and assured of gainful employment. It was a striking message for Uganda grappling with 80 per cent youth unemployment. The elderly, he said, need better care as reservoirs of wisdom and their knowledge and experience, like a compass, should help illuminate decisions-making when confronted with evolving problems.

“It is these small signs that we see the true soul of people,” he said in reference to his call for care and help to the sick, the poor and underprivileged.

The Pope’s meeting followed his one-on-one meeting with co-host President Museveni.

Mr Museveni said former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, whose widow was in attendance, was the “greatest African who lived”, citing his lead role in liberation of almost half of African countries from colonialism.

Pope Francis landed in Uganda Friday on the second leg of a landmark trip to Africa, with huge crowds, choirs and dancers celebrating as he touched down.

Francis arrived in Uganda after three days in neighbouring Kenya, where vast crowds turned out to an open air mass, and where the pontiff lashed out at corruption and wealthy minorities who hoard resources at the expense of the poor.

Large crowds gathered in Entebbe some 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of the capital Kampala where Francis will meet Museveni at the presidential palace later on Friday.

Crowds gathered along the roads, four deep in some places, while street lights were draped with black, yellow and red banners, the colours of the national flag.

"I'd like him to talk about corruption, which is too much in Uganda. And we hope he can bring political change. He must talk to Museveni: if a pope can stand down why not a president?" a lady said.

Police and soldiers, all armed with assault rifles or batons, lined the road and military pickups raced up and down the street.

"This latest pope, Francis, he cares for all the people, the whole universe, regardless of political or religious affiliation."
Security has been ratcheted up for the visit over fears Islamist rebels from Al-Qaeda's East Africa branch, the Shebab, could use the opportunity to stage attacks.

But chief of the defence forces Katumba Wamala has said measures are in place and expressed confidence "all will go as planned."
Francis has shrugged off safety fears, joking that he was "more worried about the mosquitoes".

Pope itinerary 28th Nov 2015

•Arrives at the Anglican Shrine in Namugongo at 8.30am.
•Arrives at the Uganda Catholic Martyrs Shrine at 9am, says a short private meditative prayer not exceeding 15 minutes and begin Mass.
•The Mass starts at 9.30am.Those intending to attend should have assembled by 6.30am.
•Addresses the youth at Kololo Inndence/Ceremonial Grounds at 3:15pm
•At 4.30pm, Pope will arrive at the Bakateyamba Home, Nalukolongo.
• Arrives at Rubaga Cathedral at 5pm for meeting with bishops and priests.

Pope Francis arrived minutes ago at the Namugongo protestant shrine-Nakiyanja where he is inspecting the martyrs museum led by ArchBishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagali.

The pope is blessing the Anglicans amidst cheers

8:58 a.m The pope waves to the cheering believers as he drives off to the Catholic shrine where he will celebrate a mass to mark the 50th anniversary of the canonisation of the Uganda martyrs

9:03 am The pope's convoy approaches the Catholic shrine, believers cheer him in excitement

The President of Uganda H E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the first lady arrived almost an hour ago to Namugongo Shrine. Presidential aspirants Amama Mbabazi, Dr Kizza Besigye are also at the Shrine. South Sudan's Salva Kiir and Mama Nyerere are also present.

9:10 a.m Pope's team arrives in four vans to loud and frenzied cheers

The choir ushers in the pope as they sing "Matching together" a famous catholic hymn

9:23 a.m Bishops stand in a long procession waiting for the pope to join them so that the open air mass celebration at the Catholic martyrs shrine begins

The crowds are so big i have never seen in my life.

If Jesus or Holy Mary came to Uganda, a predominantly catholic country, i wonder if any one would remain in the villages

Viva Papa, Viva Papa, Viva Papa.

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