Dr David Hambira
General Paul Kagame and his minister insist Uganda will not end what they term Uganda’s agenda of regime-change in Rwanda. According to Kagame’s junior minister in charge of East African Affairs, Olivier Nduhungirehe, Uganda’s aggression is deep-seated and not a recent development. On the contrary, Uganda has been plotting against Kagame since 1994, the two men claim. The minister puts it in these terms:
“This is not something that started yesterday, this started as far back as the 1990s…Those details are in the book of Gérard Prunier about Seth Sendashonga and how he was plotting with Uganda against Rwanda immediately after 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.”
Nduhungirehe is recycling Kagame’s statements at the National Leadership Retreat on March 9, 2019. That is when Kagame declared Uganda a serial enemy determined to perform regime change in Rwanda since the 1990s. Shockingly, Kagame then revealed that Sendashonga was killed “because he had crossed the line drawn by the Rwandan government.” In Kagame’s telling, Sendashonga was plotting with Ugandan high ranking military officers who were ready to give him all the support he needed to get rid of the Kagame regime in Rwanda.
According to Nduhungirehe, regime change in Rwanda remains Uganda’s priority twenty-five years on. He says that even Ugandan cabinet ministers are directly involved in terrorist activities aimed at regime change in Rwanda. As he says:
“Armed terrorist groups are facilitated by and operate in Uganda…When you have a cabinet minister directly involved in a terrorist attack that killed civilians, families and those who escaped fled to Uganda and are protected by the Ugandan army, what more do you want to see to understand that they lack good faith?.. There is this involvement of Hon Mateke but this should not be limited to him. He’s not a rogue cabinet minister who’s doing things on his own…It would be a mistake to limit Uganda’s involvement to Philemon Mateke.”
And what is Rwanda’s own role in all this?
According to Nduhungirehe, Rwanda is perfect. “We dealt with our Ugandan counterparts bilaterally for over a year, if not a year and a half. We provided evidence even at the highest level, they promised to do something about it, and nothing was done.” Nduhungirehe had more to say:
“During the meeting on Friday, we raised all of our concerns with Uganda. But during those seven hours we didn’t get a sense that Uganda was understanding our concerns because they were denying everything, denial was their strategy and they were requesting evidence even though we were actually giving them evidence.”
From these extraordinary and one-sided ministerial declarations, it becomes apparent that relations between Rwanda and Uganda are not about to normalize. Case in point is the fact that the minister broadcasted his concoctions in the media. Don’t expect much from foreign affairs conducted in the press – this is as childish and self-serving as it gets. Stay tuned.