KAGAME JETS INTO UGANDA AFTER FOUR YEAR HIATUS
By Our Reporter
After a four year spell, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has returned to Ugandan soil on Sunday 24th, 2022 on a state visit. His visit coincides with the celebration to mark 48th birthday of the Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba; the first son and UPDF Commander of the land Forces.
Muhoozi is credited with a significant role in mediating the Rwanda – Uganda standoff that saw Katuna/Gatuna border closed for close to two years
President Kagame was last in Uganda on March 25, 2018 for a one day visit at the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni.
The two Heads of state held official talks in a cordial and friendly atmosphere, according to the then foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa.
After four years of no show, the Rwandan president will be on Ugandan soil once more this time to also celebrate the first son’s birthday.
Earlier on Friday the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeje Odongo had said that President Paul Kagame would be in the country on Saturday 23rd April as he said :“I can confirm he will be here tomorrow (Saturday) to attend Muhoozi’s birthday celebration.”
In an exclusive interview with a local news website, Odongo said his ministry has already assigned a minister to ensure Kagame’s safe stay in the country.
Relations between Rwanda and Uganda became frosty in 2019 when Rwanda closed its border at Gatuna when Rwanda accused Uganda of harbouring persons who posed security threats to the state. It also accused Uganda of harassing and arresting Rwandan nationals in the country. Uganda denied these charges.
“We have not fully resolved the issues but we are continuing the conversation to restore the friendship,” Odongo added.
Kagame, who was a regular at almost all Uganda’s state functions, was a no show even when Museveni took oath for his 6th term in office in May 2021.
And as the Gatuna / Katuna border remained closed and business at a standstill for close to two years, Commander land forces Muhoozi journeyed to Rwanda to discuss Uganda – Rwanda issues on two occasions.
“Muhoozi played a big role on the negotiations for sure,” Odongo added.
The first son on Saturday hosted an open to public celebration at Lugogo Cricket Oval in addition to a state banquet hosted by President Museveni at State house Entebbe.
The State House banquet was an invite-only event, where members of the first family, close friends and associates attended.