Museveni says Queen Elizabeth is his friend with benefits

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President Museveni

On Thursday evening at the British High Commissioner’s residence, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, also the chief guest, celebrated the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in the year of her Sapphire Jubilee and 65th anniversary of her reign.

In his speech, President Museveni said he has keenly followed the events of Her Majesty since her coronation. “I was a bit young, I remember my mother showing me a picture of a young lady and said, this is the Queen of England,” he said.

Museveni toasts with British High Commissioner

At the same event, the President reminisced Queen Elizabeth’s 1954 visit to Uganda at the inauguration of the Owen falls dam and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

President Museveni also shared his memories with the guests on how he had to wait until 1996 to meet Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham palace.

Victoria University

The president further emphasized the role of the Queen whom he described as 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 Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which was sitting in Vancouver to bring peace between the two countries. We were forced to talk because of her presence,” he said.

British High Commissioner addresses guests

He added, “I salute and thank God for her long life and reign as the Queen of England. We are friends with mutual benefits. I am now speaking English. I refer to the British language as a captured weapon we are now employing.”

His Excellency credited England’s good working relationship with Uganda and continuous support in the latter’s economic recovery walk. Citing the time when 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 relationship is dependent 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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