By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, Thomas Tayebwa has eulogized fallen Queen Elizabeth II as an action-driven monarch who passionately led the Commonwealth in her 70 years on the throne of the United Kingdom.
Tayebwa was leading Parliament on Wednesday in paying tribute to the late Queen who died aged 96 at her home in Balmoral, Scotland last Thursday. She has been the longest-serving monarch of the United Kingdom has taken over from her late father King George VI in 1952.
“Colleagues, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was an immaculate, action-driven monarch who did not sit back in Buckingham Palace. She rolled her sleeves and served with the kind of passion and commitment that left the entire world in admiration,” Tayebwa said while opening the special sitting of Parliament.
The Deputy Speaker, who urged the lawmakers to join the rest of the world and other Commonwealth Parliaments to pay tribute to the deceased Queen, commended her for growing the Commonwealth. He also hailed her for the two visits she made to Uganda including during the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) and 1952 when the then Kazinga national park was renamed, Queen Elizabeth National Park in her honor.
“The Commonwealth was created to foment international cooperation and trade links between its members across the world. As its head, Queen Elizabeth II grew its membership from seven countries to 56 nations, representing over 2.5 million people,” he added.
Speaker Anita Among also visited the British High Commission on Monday to pay tribute to the late queen and signed the condolence book in the presence of High Commissioner, Kate Airey.
Tayebwa who earlier in the morning signed a condolence book at the British High Commission in Kampala told Parliament that, by traveling over 200 times to Commonwealth countries to share ideas and preach unity, the Queen touched many lives.
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja moved the motion for a resolution of Parliament to pay tribute to the late Queen and she took this moment to send out the government condolences to the people of UK and the royal family.
Nabbanja praised the late Queen who took over at the time when most of the African countries were getting independence, for being a unifier for these states that have since joined former colonies across the world to form the Commonwealth.
“Her Majesty transformed the British Empire from a colonial group of countries to a Commonwealth of independent and equal States and throughout her reign, played an important unifying role that reinforced the links by which the Commonwealth joins people together across the globe,” Nabbanja said.
The Prime Minister also said that the Queen needs to be honored for modernizing and transforming the Commonwealth into an association that fosters international cooperation and trade links between people all over the world.
She also commended the late Queen for making public and voluntary service as one of the most essential elements of her work.
“Her Majesty was a Royal Patron and President of over 500 charities, professional bodies, and public service organizations. These varied from well-established international charities to smaller bodies working in a specialist area or on a local basis only,” she added.
Members of Parliament spoke passionately about the legacy left behind by the Queen, especially on her role in promoting education through the UK government which has been providing student scholarships in the Commonwealth states.
Other MPs mentioned the several projects accomplished across Uganda through funding from the UK government hence contributing to development.
Deputy Speaker Tayebwa directed the Clerk’s office to Parliament to extract the resolution of the motion passed after two hours of paying tributes and send it to the British High Commission.