Bill Clinton meets his Ugandan “son”
Posted Saturday, July 21 2012 at 15:35
Master Bill Clinton Kaligani, the Jinja boy named after the former US President, finally beat the odds to meet Mr Bill Clinton, who was leaving Uganda on Friday after a brief day’s visit.
Kaligani was airlifted to State House Entebbe, catching up with Mr Clinton a few moments before he was scheduled to leave the country. The two Clintons met on the former President’s plane.
“There was something like a room. We met there and he was very happy to see the boy. He asked him what he wants and the boy informed him he wants to become a doctor. He promised to look after his “son” in every way. Clinton told him he should study hard. He promised to fund his education up to the level the boy wants,” Ms Betty Namugosa, Kaligani’s mother, narrated on phone yesterday.
“He told us: “I was leaving but I decided to wait and see you. I want us to do a deal. Will you study? Are you determined?”” He told them to compile the boy’s education needs and hand them over to US Embassy officials who attended the meeting.
“I feel good. He told me he also wanted me to be a doctor, that I should work hard and pass in my studies,” Kaligani said yesterday.
Kaligani says it was not only his first time to meet Bill Clinton as an adult, but also the first time he had travelled by air.
The former President and his guests shared a light meal, and he afterwards gave Kaligani some presents, “pens, key-holders and thing like that.”
President Yoweri Museveni, who had met the former US President earlier that day, was not at the meeting.
The boy’s family was not on the ex-President’s schedule and did not know about his visit until Daily Monitor broke the news to them on Wednesday.
On Friday at 1:00pm, Mr Joseph Kaliisa, an official with Building for Tomorrow, Mr Bill Clinton’s charity in Uganda, called this reporter trying to locate the boy. The mother’s mobile phone number was given to Mr Kaliisa who then called her. She however said that she did not have money to pay for an abrupt journey to Kampala.
Mr Kaliisa then informed State House of her position, and an order was given to the Jinja District Police Commander, Mr Jonathan Musinguzi, to ensure that Kaligani and his mother were delivered to Kampala on time.
A police chopper was dispatched to pick them at Lugazi, at (industrialist) Mehta’s airstrip.
Ms Namugosa says they arrived at the airport to meet the ex-President at around 5:00pm.
After the meeting, Kaligani and his mother were driven by a police vehicle back to Wanyange, Jinja.
“They (the Clintons) are going to care for him. I am sure his life will never be same again,” Mr Kaliisa told Daily Monitor.