Kagame Checkmated by Museveni – Time to Tone Down the Rhetoric, Open Borders, and End Rwanda’s Devastating Self-Isolation

By David Himbara

When Uganda’s General Muhoozi Kainerugaba called Rwanda’s head of state Paul Kagame his uncle, some thought he was smoking something.

When Kainerugaba said he would shortly visit his Rwandan uncle, he was rediculed. But when Kainerugaba announced after his visit with Kagame that they “held very cordial and in-depth discussions about how to improve our bilateral relations”, no one was laughing. What happened?

The Ugandan leadership sensed that Kagame who has isolated himself regionally via border closures and poisonous rhetoric that destroyed a US$300 million annual trade, desperately wants a way out of his nightmare.

Museveni who has been working on the opposite agenda from Kagame’s – building regional economic and security alliances especially with DR Congo – has checkmated Kagame. Known for his political shrewd ability to find and pursue the most advantageous course of action, Museveni bid for time.

Kainerugaba’s visit to Rwanda was a lifeline thrown to Kagame to free himself from the deep hole he dug himself into when he cut a poverty-stricken nation from its relatively more robust neighbours.

Stay tuned.