By RISDEL KASASIRA and ELIAS MBAO
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi, yesterday caused a scene at the African Heads of State Summit in Speke Resort, Munyonyo near Kampala when he slapped one of his aides for taking him to a wrong venue of the meeting. He was supposed to go to Meera Hall where other presidents were waiting to start a meeting but his protocol people led him to Victoria Hall.
Colonel Gadaffi came riding across the extensive grounds of the plush resort on an electronic-powered cart as has become the normal means of conveyance for some of the leaders.
He then climbed the staircase leading to the hall but midway a presidential guard told his aides that they were taking him to a wrong venue.
He turned to his aide and they started talking in Arabic before slapped him twice on both cheeks.
His guards shielded him from journalists who were hurrying to take this picture.
He later rode back on the cart with his burly guards and Uganda presidential guards surrounding him.
One hour later, he returned and entered the meeting where presidents were discussing the theme of the summit; maternal, infant, child health and development.
The Libyan leader’s bodyguards then engaged in yet another round of pushing and shoving —– as they had done on Sunday — as he entered the hall. Hardly 30 minutes later, he strode out of the meeting, picked a plastic chair and sat in the gardens where he told his aides to call Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.
He then told his aides to prepare him tea on a charcoal stove, commonly known as sigiri.
“What is this man doing?” said a delegate from South Africa as many delegates crowded to see what was going.
His presence attracted the attention of delegates and journalists who started taking his picture before he angrily lifted the chair and hid amongst the flowers.
Ugandan presidential security and Gaddafi’s guards threw a security ring around the gardens as all this was taking place.
By press time, Col Gadaffi was preparing to have a barbeque with other presidents.
The AU meeting in Uganda came two weeks after Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked Shabab claimed suicide bombings that killed 76 in Kampala and as the North African arm of the terror network executed a French hostage in Mali.
More than 30 heads of state from the AU’s 53 members gathered amid unprecedented security in the Ugandan capital, with the growing regional impact of the Somali chaos topping the agenda.
Meanwhile, Zambian President Rupiah Banda has ruled out sending troops to Somalia.
Asked whether Zambia will send troops to Somalia, President Banda, who attended the opening session of the AU heads of state and government summit told journalists in Lusaka that the southern African country was not in the position to deploy troops to Somalia at the moment.
“No! Certainly not! We haven’t got the facilities. We are struggling to improve the conditions of our army here. Sending them there is a big assignment which perhaps with our commitment of development at home, it will be difficult,” President Banda said. The Zambian leader condemned the terrorist bombings in Kampala that killed at least 76 people a fortnight ago.
It is very important to stand by each other when there are such problems, he said.
“Naturally, I think we should all be concerned when such things are happening. It’s not a good thing,” said President Banda.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said many of those behind the Kampala attacks have been arrested and “interrogations have yielded very good information.” The two bombings were meant to bully Uganda into pulling out of the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the last thing standing between al Shabaab and total power.
Source: Daily Nation