backgroundimage

RESS STATEMENT TO THE PRESS ON THE PAPAL VISIT TO UGANDA

I    INTRODUCTION

1.    Fellow Countrymen and Women, in two days’ time, His Holiness Pope Francis will be making an Apostolic Journey to Uganda from the 27th – 29th November 2015.  
2.    As noted in my earlier press statement, the Papal Visit combines elements of a State and a Pastoral visit.  As such, the Government of Uganda, the Apostolic Nunciature and the Uganda Episcopal Conference have each undertaken different activities coordinated by the Apex Committee chaired by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister and implemented by the National Organizing Committee (NOC) and the Infrastructure sub-committee under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities for a successful pontifical visit.
3.    On arrival, the Pope will be accompanied by: 30 Members of his official entourage and 70 international journalists.  For these, the National Organizing Committee (NOC) has made appropriate local transport and accommodation  arrangements following the guidance received from the Advance Teams from the Vatican .  
4.    Government and the Uganda Episcopal Conference has since August 2015, received four Advance Teams from the Vatican to harmonize a variety of issues pertaining to the Papal visit.

II    PREPARATIONS TO RECEIVE THE POPE

So far, arrangements are complete for the arrival Ceremonies on 27th November 2015.  These will not exceed 25 Minutes.  In particular:

1.    His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda will lead the Official Receiving Party at Entebbe International airport.  The Official Welcome Party comprises 47 VVIPs namely:
i.    The First Lady;
ii.    Rt. Hon. Speaker;
iii.    His Lordship the Hon. Chief Justice;
iv.    Rt. Hon. Prime Minister;
v.    Minister of Foreign Affairs;
vi.    Minister in Charge of the Presidency;
vii.    Minister for General Duties – OPM;
viii.    H.E. the Apostolic Nuncio;
ix.    The Head of Public Service & Secretary to Cabinet;
x.    The three (03) Service Chiefs;
xi.    Thirty (30) local Catholic Bishops and 05 Church of Uganda Bishops.
The rest of the Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as other VIPs will be waiting to receive the Holy Father at State House.

2.    While at the airport, H.E. the President and the Holy Father will chat for a few moments in the Presidential Lounge at the airport while the members of the Papal entourage precede the Pope to the State House.  
3.    At State House, His Excellency and the Holy Father will proceed to hold a 15 – 20 Minutes tete-a-tete meeting; followed by exchange of gifts.  Thereafter there will be Welcome speeches in which His Excellency and His Holiness the Pope will address the invited 300 VIP guests at State House in the Main Hall (including Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Diplomats among others).
4.    There will be neither a State Dinner nor a Press briefing at State House, Entebbe.

Traffic Management Plan:
 
5.    The traffic management plan is in place complete with principal and alternative Papal routes. The Public has been advised on the traffic movement starting from 24th November 2015.  The highlights are as follows:
i.    A total of 800 traffic personnel are to be deployed.
ii.    No private vehicles and motorcycles will be allowed beyond Kireka Trading Centre.
iii.    Vehicles with VIP stickers to access through Kyaliwajjala and park at Namugongo Girls’ Primary School.
iv.    Private Vehicles accessing Namugongo Shrine through Kiira will park at Green Hill S.S. and Kiira Town Council grounds.
v.    Vehicles with VVIP stickers to access the Anglican Shrine through Bweyogerere and Sonde and will park at the Anglican football ground.
vi.    Parking for private vehicles coming through Sonde will be at Church Farm.
vii.    Private Vehicles from Jinja Road Highway to park at Namboole Stadium.
viii.    The entire stretch of the road from Kyaliwajjala to Namugongo will be a Pedestrian Zone.
However, members of the public are encouraged to stand by the roadside along all the Papal routes to welcome the Pontiff.  You are also reminded to tune in your radios so as to know the traffic management to avoid inconveniences.
Arrangements have also been made to provide Communal transport for:
a.    The VVIPs forming the Official Welcome Party who will be travelling from the airport to State House.
b.    The Public Welcome Groups comprise 1000 members of the Public.  These have been mobilized by the Church and will assemble at Bugonga Parish, Entebbe at 11:00 a.m.  and will be transported to the airport using communal transport.
Munyonyo Venue        27th November 2015     7:15 p.m.
6.    Munyonyo is the site where some Martyrs were killed including St Andrew Kaggwa Patron of Uganda Catechists. The catechists gather here every year around the shrine. A new church has been constructed and will have a capacity of 1000 people. The Pope will bless this Church and greet the Catechists and teachers who will be gathered here.
7.    Although the events at Munyonyo are purely Liturgical/ Pastoral, the general public is invited to attend.  The Church has organized other activities as the guests and members of the public await the Papal arrival.
Namugongo Venue    28th November 2015    8:30 a.m.     

At Namugongo, NOC has laid out detailed Protocol plans as follows:

8.    At Anglican Museum, Nakiyanja, H.E the President will be expected to arrive at 7:45 a.m.  Here, he will be received by Hon. Tarsis Kabwegyere – Minister for General Duties OPM; the Archbishop of Church of Uganda – His Grace Stanley Ntagali and the retired Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo and Bishop Kityo Luwalira of Namirembe Diocese.  He will tour the Museum and greet the congregation.  
9.    His Excellency will then proceed to the Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine at 8:15 a.m.
10.    The Holy Father will then arrive at Nakiyanja at 8:30 a.m. where he will:

i.    Unveil a commemorative plaque and then proceed to the museum where the 25 martyrs were tortured and killed.
ii.    He will say a short private meditative prayer not exceeding 15 minutes.

Catholic Shrine        28th November 2015    9:00 a.m.
iii.    At Namugongo H.E. the President will be received by the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister.  The President will then take his seat.
iv.    The Pontiff will be received by His Grace Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese.  The Pope will enter the Basilica for a prayer before Mass begins.
v.    The Mass will take only two hours starting at 9:30 a.m. and the public is advised to assemble at 6:30 a.m. and keep time.

11.    Invitations at Namugongo have been extended to 3780 guests of which, 1,300 have been drawn from the Government official invitation list which includes Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, their Lordships the Justices and Judges, among others. The rest of the guests will be Religious men and women.  The public is invited to attend in large numbers.

Kololo Ceremonial Grounds    28th November 2015    3:15 p.m.  

12.    The Pope will address the youth who have come from all parts of the country.  Although the emphasis shall be on the Youth, the rest of the general public is welcome to attend.

13.    Accreditation for 10,000 youth, who will be close to Pontiff at Kololo, is complete.  Invitations for government officials have been dispatched but restricted to 1000 including VIPs in Government Agencies whose work relates to youth affairs; Youth MPs and leaders at District level as well as the University Student Guilds.

Bakateyamba Home, Nalukolongo and The Bishop’s House     4:30 p.m.

The Pope’s visit to Nalukologo - Bakateyamba’s Home as well as the meeting with Clergymen at the Archbishop’s House are purely Pastoral events.  The Pontiff will:
•    Have a personal contact with the sick, disabled and poor people accompanied by the Church leaders.
•    Persons to be very close to the Pope were submitted by the Church and have already been accredited.
•    No invitations for Nalukolongo and Lubaga have been extended but members of the Public are encouraged to line up along the Papal route to welcome the Pope.

Entebbe International Airport        29th November 2015    9:00 a.m.

The Departure ceremonies will last for 15 minutes.  His Excellency the President will have a brief farewell meeting with the Pontiff in the VIP Lounge.  There are no performances during the departure ceremony.  VIP invitations have been limited to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese – His Grace Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga; the Chairman Uganda Episcopal Conference – His Grace John Baptist Odama; H.E. the Apostolic Nuncio; the Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet as well as the three Service Chiefs.

Conclusion:
On behalf of the Government of Uganda i wish to call upon all Ugandans to turn up in large numbers at Namugongo and Kololo to welcome the Holy Father.  I also wish to appeal to you to cooperate with Police where necessary by looking out for and report any suspicious activities.
Thank you for your support towards this historic visit.

Hon. Tarsis Kabwegyere (MP)
MINISTER FOR GENERAL DUTIES, OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER