By Elite Reporter
The First Son Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who is also the Presidential Advisor on Special Operations, has proposed to government to build statues in remembrance of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta, plus bush war heroes Gen. Salim Saleh and late Col. Fred Rwigyema.
Muhoozi made this revelation in a tweet on Thursday, in which he posted pictures of the four Generals and accompanied them with the caption ; “The greatest military heroes in Africa’s history. Generals Museveni, Saleh, Rwigyema and Kagame. They achieved the impossible. We should build statues in their honour in every town in Uganda and Rwanda.”
However, Muhoozi’s tweet has raised several eyebrows among political pundits, especially since his proposal comes at a time when tensions are high between Rwandan and Uganda, ever since the latter closed her borders at Gatuna and Cyanika, after accusing Uganda of allegedly backing Rwandan dissidents who want to overthrow Kagame.
Kagame’s government also accused Uganda of illegally detaining hundreds of Rwandans in several Ugandan detention centres and although Kampala initially denied the allegations, security forces have over time released several Rwandans from custody and deported them back to Rwanda.
During the virtual bilateral meeting between the two countries’ Foreign Affairs Ministers, Uganda’s delegation led by Minister Sam Kutesa told the Rwandan delegation led by Vincent Biruta, that Uganda actually has 310 Rwandans still in custody.
However, during the said meeting, Biruta said Uganda continued to support groups seeking to destabilize his country.
“For instance, outfits of that Self-Worth Initiative still operate RNC cells in Uganda. This goes against the Government of Uganda’s previous commitment to disbanding the activities of this criminal organization,” said Biruta.
“There is a trend of on-going mobilization activities in different parts of Uganda to support RNC and other different negative forces that continue to receive the support from Uganda’s Security Organs,” he added.
However, Kutesa said the Self-Worth Initiative of Prossy Boonabana and Sulah Nuwamamya had been deregistered.
“This was done on 12th March 2020 and officially announced in the Gazzette on 16th March 2020. The following day, on 17th March 2020, the Government
of Rwanda was officially informed,” said Kutesa.
Biruta also accused Uganda of mistreating Rwandans, giving examples of two women who were handed to Rwanda at the border after being reportedly beaten by Ugandan security personnel.
“Additionally, Rwandans reported being detained at security detention centers continue to be denied consular visits and are not produced before any courts of law to stand trial,” said Biruta, although Kutesa denied the allegations.
“Last month, the President pardoned 130 Rwandans who were in detention, serving time for various offenses committed,” said Kutesa, adding that “These prisoners have now been processed and on Monday and Tuesday next week, we will be ready to hand them over to the Rwandan authorities at Cyanika and Mirama Hills border points. I request that the relevant Rwandan are present to receive them.”
He also said that “With the pardon of these prisoners, 310 Rwandan nationals charged with capital offences will remain in custody. The details of those in detention will be shared with the government of Rwanda.”
Kutesa also accused Kigali of espionage, saying despite Uganda’s demonstrable steps to normalize ties, Rwanda has not lived to the same spirit.
Kutesa further accused Rwanda of running a hostile propaganda campaign against Uganda, citing publications by Igihe, The New Times and Virunga Post among others.
For instance, Virunga Post recently accused Senior Presidential Advisor in charge of Special Operations Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba of committing serious offences, without providing evidence, although Muhoozi didn’t respond to the accusations.
The meeting, which was chaired by Kutesa and graced by Tete Antonio, Minister of External Relations of Angola, Gilbert Kankonde Malamba, DR Congo’s Deputy
Prime Minister, and Minister of Interior, Security and Customary Affairs, was a follow-up to the decisions of the fourth quadripartite Summit held in Katuna on February 21, 2020.