Kampala- Pope Francis has told the Uganda government the things he wants and does not want during his visit in Uganda in November.
Sources in the Catholic Church and in the Office of the Prime Minister have confirmed to this newspaper that the Vatican outlined the type of reception to be accorded to the Pontiff during his trip to Uganda between November 27 and 29.
The modalities are being discussed by the government and the Popeâ€™s representative in Uganda, the Papal Nuncio.
The sources said among the Vatican terms, is that during his visit in Uganda, the Pope will not use big 4×4 SUV vehicles for his mobility inside the country. The Pope prefers that he be given an â€œordinaryâ€ car.
The Pope also informed the Uganda government that he will not sit with any other passenger in his car.
Also the Pope does not want to have any meeting with political leaders. He will only lead mass and engage in religious activities.
However, according to sources privy to the Vatican communication, the Pope will have a short meeting with President Museveni and only to discuss religious matters.
The Pope also told the government he will not stay in a hotel, but rather he and his entourage will sleep in a common place. The Pope and his entourage will also have a common time for their meals.
The Pope also said there would be no state banquet and that he will take care of his own accommodation.
It is not clear whether the Vatican will come with the Popemobile [an informal name for the specially designed motor vehicles used by the Catholic Pope during outdoor public appearances] or Uganda government will arrange one.
Pope Francis discarded the use of expensive Popemobiles used by previous Popes and has preferred to use ordinary ones.
In the Vatican, he uses a small modified Hyundai car. While on a visit to Sri Lanka, he used a modified Land Rover Defender and in Philippines, he used a modified Isuzu D-Max pickup.
In 1969, Pope Paul VI was driven to Namugongo Martyrs Shrine in an open Mercedes Benz car in which he sat with President Obote, while in 1993, Pope John Paul II was similarly driven to Namugongo in an open roof Mercedes Benz and he arrived in the same vehicle with President Museveni.
Sunday Monitor understands government has budgeted at least Shs60 billion for VIP cars of SUV and saloon type for the Popeâ€™s visit and use for other high profile foreign dignitaries thereafter.