The imposing 42,000-seater Mandela National Stadium, built under a Chinese grant, is an icon in the over 50 years of diplomatic ties between Uganda and China.
In there, Ugandans and Chinese wearing dark colored clothes gathered on Thursday to mourn the Chinese experts who died during the construction of the stadium.
Four Chinese workers in 1996 were killed during the construction of the Ugandan national stadium at Namboole. Three of the workers were killed due to burning after a bus crashed at the site where they were working. The bus burned instantly leaving them dead. Another one died on a crane.
The mourners on Thursday reflected upon the sacrifices the young experts made to the development of the Uganda-China ties and sports in the East African country.
They bowed their heads thrice after observing a one minute silence in honor of the workers.
Chinese embassy and Ugandan government officials laid flowers on the tombstone just outside the stadium.
"They are heroes who built the monument of friendship between China and Uganda and China and Africa. Their names with this stadium will be remembered in the heart of the Chinese people and Ugandan people," said Chu Maoming, the Charge d'Affairs of the Chinese embassy in Uganda.
Rosemary Seninde, minister of state for primary education, said the departed experts paid with their sweat, blood, and life to cement the relations between Uganda and China.
"We Ugandans salute those fallen friends," she said.
This is the first time the event was organized to remember the departed. The event was held on the same day as the Chinese mark the Qingming Festival, or the Tomb Sweeping Day on Thursday.
Chinese people attach much significance to the Tomb Sweeping Day because they use it to remember loved ones who departed.