As President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia stepped out of his plane onto what is left of the war-ravaged Entebbe International Airport, he stopped a yard away from the outstretched arms of the newly reelected president of Uganda. Apollo Milton Obote. Instead of embracing. Kaunda went down on his knees—to pray for Uganda.
His host tearfully followed him to his knees. The huge throng of chanting, dancing Ugandans who had come to meet the Zambian leader were hushed to sudden silence and, with bowed heads and bent knees, joined their leaders in five minutes of intensely joyous worship.
When the scene was shown on television later that evening, tens of thousands of viewers in Uganda and neighboring countries also fell to their knees in prayer—not only for Uganda, but also in appreciation for the spontaneous public acknowledgment by the political leaders of God’s sovereignty over events in the region.
Kaunda came to Uganda on January 18 to join Presidents Daniel arap Moi of Kenya and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania in congratulating Obote and his fellow Ugandans on successfully returning their country to constitutional and democratic rule after nearly a decade of brutal military rule under General Idi Amin.
The leaders also came together to work out a regional plan to rehabilitate Uganda’s shattered economic and administrative structures. But at a public rally, the leaders addressed themselves to different but equally important casualties of the Amin era: public morality, devotion to national goals and interests, and national unity. They spoke of the importance of forgetting the painful recent past in order to build a viable future for the country.
Hope for Uganda is once again on the ascendant. The country’s natural ...1
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