Last week, diplomatic drama was at its best as former US president Bill Clinton touched down at Entebbe for a one day trip. Accompanying her ageing father was Chelsea, Clinton’s only child who recently exchanged nuptials in a wedding ceremony that had more security guards than attendees.

Fourteen years after his last visit to Uganda, Clinton was greeted by sameness; he arrived at the same airport; among the officials who welcomed him, at least half of them were serving by the time America’s 42nd president visited and of course, the father of them all, the same portrait greeted him at the very important persons’ lounge – a smiley Museveni hanging on the wall.

I’m very sure Bill Clinton’s daughter Chelsea must have stealthily asked the father in one of those side whispers whether the current President Museveni is a son to the Museveni who was president back in 1998 when he last visited the country and in some predictable whisper papa went like, ‘It’s the same person Chel’.

You see Clinton was here as part of his African tour whose itinerary saw him inaugurate new projects under his foundation and inspect the progress that those he pioneered earlier before had made.

As he walked hand in tow with Museveni at one of the few places he visited, I can’t help but imagine his thoughts which of course thanks to a well rehearsed smile rarely see the light of day. There he was with a man who beats him at setting records. It’s 2 for Clinton and how many…..4, 5?? for Museveni. In that grin old men are known for, his ‘oh boy’ must have struggled to escape.

Perhaps one of the sweetest memories that the trip presented must have been that moment when Clinton locked eyes with the same boy he held in his arms during that ’98 visit. Sweet as it was, it surely had some ‘awkwardidity’ with it and on his part, the old man must have felt beaten face down that while he left office, the same baby he held four days after birth has grown into an ambitious young man but well, under the same ruler!!!

I think I now know why we have to keep some trips as short as possible. Some things you just can’t have in large doses. The shortness of the trip actually saved the last grains of hope still standing in the heart of the man born in a town called Hope, Arkansas. For example there was no time for him to ask for the school registrars which probably have more ghost pupils than the number that can spell their names!!!



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