By David Himbara
General Paul Kagame’s hatred and fear of Uganda especially since he closed the common border on February 27, 2019, continues to intensify. The November 4, 2019 reshuffle indicates the Uganda fear factor. Kagame used the reshuffle to get rid of the remaining “Ugandans” in key and strategic Rwandan institutions. By the term “Ugandans” I mean people like Kagame who grew up in Uganda who led Rwanda’s bush war to capture power in 1994. Because his paranoia has sharply intensified due to his conflict with Uganda, Kagame is suspicious of Rwandans who grew up in Uganda. He has dropped them all. To put it bluntly, there are no “Ugandans” left in the top two positions in Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Finance.
Clearing the Ministry of Defence of all “Ugandans”
In the Ministry of Defence, Kagame removed the last “Ugandan” in the top two positions – General Patrick Nyamvumba who was Chief of Defence Staff of the Rwanda Defence Force. This completes the removal of the “Ugandans” from the Ministry of Defence. General James Kabarebe, another “Ugandan” who was defence minister was removed in 2018.
Clearing Ministry of Foreign Affairs of all “Ugandans”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs passed from a “Ugandan”, Richard Sezibera who disappeared several months ago. No explanation of what became of Sezibera was ever given. There are no “Ugandans” left in the top positions in foreign affairs.
Clearing Ministry of Finance of all “Ugandans”
The last “Ugandan” to lead the finance ministry was Claver Gatete who was removed in 2018.
Kagame’s new top team is now comprised of people who come from anywhere else but Uganda. Kagame is the only “Ugandan” left standing in the top layer of the executive branch of government. I highly doubt though that Kagame will breathe any easier after getting rid of the “Ugandans.” The Uganda issue will not disappear – it is one thing to close an international border, and quite another to open it on your own terms.