Lt Gen Muhoozi awaited in Kigali

On 24 September 2022 at 08:57

Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba,, the first born son of Uganda’s President who also serves as the Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations and Commander of Land Forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has announced that he plans to visit Rwanda in the near future.

"Happy to announce that I will be visiting my uncle, H.E. @PaulKagame, soon to get more tips on cattle keeping. Look forward to meeting with more friends in Kigali. God bless Uganda and Rwanda!" he tweeted on Friday 23rd September 2022.

Lt Gen Muhoozi was last in Rwanda in March 2022 for a three-day visit that was concluded with a donation of Inyambo cows from President Kagame.

The visit aimed at mending bilateral ties between the two neighbouring countries that had deteriorated since 2017.

Muhoozi later revealed that Kagame gifted him ten cows.

On the first day of his visit to Rwanda on Monday 14th March 2022, Lt Gen Muhoozi was received by Chargé d’Affaires at Uganda’s Embassy in Kigali, Anne Katusiime along with senior officers from the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) upon arrival at Kigali International Airport.

He was received by President Paul Kagame on the same day. On the second day, Lt Gen Muhoozi visited Kigali Genocide Memorial where he paid homage to victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi laid there and other facilities including Kigali Arena.

In Rwandan culture, cows represent a very significant symbol of friendship and are considered part of the best wealth a person can ever possess.

Cows were the only token that would be given for dowry or as a present to a friend in Rwanda. Even today, a cow is still considered the best present one can ever give a beloved one. Be it a wedding, graduation or a birthday party, cow giving makes the occasion more colourful and real.

It was not the first time Kagame was giving cows to the family of Museveni.

On 31st July 2011, President Kagame gave cows to his counterpart of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who was on a visit to Rwanda.

At the time, Museveni was joining Rwanda for a community work to build a school for Nine Year Basic Education in Kanombe. Museveni pledged a contribution worth US$300,000 for completion of the school.

Towards the end of the same year, President Paul Kagame who was in Uganda was given 20 cows by Museveni.

This year’s donation of cows to Lt Gen Muhoozi is a great symbol evidencing that efforts to restore bilateral ties to normal are yielding good results.

Rwanda, Uganda relations worsened since 2017 where Rwanda expressed concerns over Rwandans who travel to Uganda for business purposes but are abducted, imprisoned and tortured accused of being spies.

Rwanda also accused Uganda of hosting dissidents posing threat to national security.

In 2019, the Government of Rwanda closed Gatuna border and officially advised citizens against travelling to Uganda for their security following testimonies of over 1000 Rwandans tortured and deported from Uganda.

In August 2019, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame signed a memorandum of understanding ‘Luanda Agreement’ in a bid to solve conflicts between both countries.

Negotiations did not yield expected results until efforts to mend Rwanda and Uganda relations took shape in February this year following the visits of Lt Gen Muhoozi.

Since he was involved in the process to restore relations to normal, Lt Gen Muhoozi has been warning Rwanda’s dissidents that they have no place in Uganda. He revealed that no official fighting Rwanda would retain job in Uganda.

Lt Gen Muhoozi also echoed similar message in February this year where he warned Rwanda’s dissident Kayumba Nyamwasa against using his country to threaten the neighbouring country’s security.

His first visit to Rwanda was on 22nd January 2022, a move that was followed by the reopening of Gatuna border.

Later on, Rwanda reopened all land borders on 7th March 2022.

Lt Gen Muhoozi visited Rwanda for the second time on 14th March 2022 where he held talks with President Kagame on pending issues affecting bilateral relations.

On the occasion of his birthday celebration in April this year, Lt Gen Muhoozi said that both countries currently have good relations with optimism that the situation would improve further in the future.

President Paul Kagame at his farm with Lt Gen Muhoozi in March this year.
Lt Muhoozi revealed that President Kagame gave him ten cows.