How Lt Gen Muhoozi booked an appointment with President Kagame for discussions to mend bilateral relations

On 26 April 2022 at 09:57

President Paul Kagame has thanked Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba for his contribution and commitment to restore relations between Rwanda and Uganda that had worsened since 2017.

The Head of State made the appreciation on Sunday 24th April 2022 as he attended the 48th birthday of Lt Gen Muhoozi, the first born son of his counterpart of Uganda,Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, currently serving as Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations and Commander of Land Forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

As he addressed participants of the event, Kagame thanked Lt Gen Muhoozi for his achievements in 48 years noting that he has used his time very well .

“So far, what we know, what we have been told, what is true is that the 48 years have been used very well. Therefore, there is no doubt that many more years we wish for him ahead, are going to be used even better. Thank you for inviting me to be here for this birthday.

I am really here for two major reasons. One is to celebrate your birthday with your parents and your family and your friends. The second is to also be happy that I am here again after four or five years, I hadn’t been coming to Uganda,” he said.

How Muhoozi asked for Kagame’s phone number

President Kagame has said that Lt Gen Muhoozi asked for his phone number to discuss issues between both countries’ relations.

“Muhoozi went through friends, and asked for my phone number. And so, I provided the direct line,” he said.

“He asked me in a message if I could accept talking to him in that direct way. Even before, I knew what he wanted to tell me. I accepted. He came. All this happened in a very short time of about two weeks,” Kagame added.

The commitment led to first talks with Lt Gen Muhoozi in January 2022 paving the way for normalized relations.

President Kagame went on to say that he did not only trust Muhoozi for his intentions to mediate the two countries but also was convinced that his father, Ugandan President Museveni was behind the good cause.

“When I received Muhoozi, I had been receiving emissaries from the president and government to talk about these difficulties. From the beginning, I knew the messages and messenger would be different from the usual ones. Messengers are not the same,” said Kagame.

“I was absolutely aware and convinced, in accepting to meet Muhoozi, that it was his father who was behind the message. I was under no illusion that it was Muhoozi operating on his own,” he added.

The President said that Rwanda and Uganda are on a path to peace and harmony where they continue to move forward.

He underscored that he was convinced that worsened relations would be temporary because of the strong bond between both countries and thanked Muhoozi for his contribution.

“Great generals are not those who fight and win wars,” said Kagame on Sunday night, adding, “greater generals are those who win peace.”

Speaking at his birthday celebration. Lt Gen Muhoozi thanked God for granting him life up to 48 years and parents who raised him.

“ I want to thank Almighty God for letting me live up to 48 years and taking me through everything he has taken me through. I want to thank my parents, President Museveni and Mama Janet for raising us the way they raised us.

Muhoozi also thanked Kagame whom he described as a straight person who never dodges the truth.

“I want to thank in a very special way, His Excellency President Paul Kagame for honouring my invitation. We are honoured and know it is the beginning for many good things to come,” he noted.

Lt Gen Muhoozi, the first born of Museveni was born in Tanzania on 24th April 1974. He is a father of three.

At the time, Museveni was among rebel outfits that had plans to overthrow the leadership of Idi Amin Dada who led Uganda from 1971 to 1979.

Museveni thanked Kagame for honouring the invitation highlighting that his son has a long history with the President of Rwanda.

“I want to thank His Excellency Paul Kagame for responding to positively and pay a visit to Uganda after a number of years of not coming here. President Kagame and Muhoozi have a long history together,” he noted.

In 1979 after overthrowing Idi Amin, Museveni said, Muhoozi was 5-year old where President Kagame and Museveni’s colleagues in the military used to spend long time together.

Janet Museveni also thanked God for having protected her entire family and requested Muhoozi to remain a God-fearing man.

From left to right: President Kagame, Lt Gen Muhoozi, Janet Museveni and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during birthday celebrations.