(eTN) News emerged in the Ugandan media, that Libya’s regime leader, Muammar Gadaffi, is planning his own side show at the forthcoming African Union Summit in Kampala, which is due to be held between July 19-29. Hotels have reported that the Libyan embassy had tried to book hundreds of additional rooms for their own “invited guests,” raising eyebrows and ringing alarm bells among the political establishment in Uganda as to what exactly Gadaffi, known to be eccentric, was up to.
Each delegation attending the summit will be given free accommodation in three suites for the head of delegation and their party, but beyond this, individual countries will have to make their own arrangements and pay for them in order to get space in the hotels. Although the Ugandan foreign ministry has taken out block bookings for the entire period so the appropriate number of rooms can be allocated once final arrival details from the participant countries and key observer missions have been received.
Hotels are said to be fully booked along the Entebbe–Kampala–Mukono corridor for the duration of the summit, and ad-hoc arrivals can expect a hard time in finding space at leading hotels, unless already confirmed, reconfirmed, and paid for, and then there is still always the possibility that one may have to worry some about their confirmed reservations.
Gadaffi’s embassy has also been hiring posh 4×4 vehicles for their invited guests, cleaning out the available market of for-hire cars, but mystery still surrounds his plans and whom he intends to bring along and why. He often travels with several aircraft full of guards and support staff and often pitches tent in a pre-selected location where he holds his meetings in the ambience of an Arabian desert tent.
Kampala is awash with rumors about his possible plans to bring traditional leaders, chiefs, paramount chiefs, and kings with him to further his own ambition to become the “king of kings” in Africa, and the Ugandan government will be careful on one side not to upset the powerful Gadaffi, whose investments in recent years in Uganda and Eastern Africa have sky rocketed. The government will, at the same time, be keeping a keen watch on him and his plans, considering the sensitive relations between the Ugandan government and a few of their own traditional kingdoms trying to assert political influence in disregard of existing laws, which prohibit them from main stream political activities.