Rwanda is a brand– thoughts of Ugandan politician after attending Rwanda Day

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 28 October 2019 at 04:30

Fred Dennis Mukasa Mbidde is a Ugandan politician, member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), an opposition figure to the current government of Yoweri Museveni and member of the Democratic Party.

Mbidde is a man that never holds his thoughts back, always frank in opinion and says he is ready to face any consequences that come with actions of which he has deep conviction. He is also known to for using bombastic English words like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.

When the diplomatic crisis between Uganda and Rwanda started, Mbidde blamed Uganda, his country, to be the source of actions that have since fueled the conflict.

In August, as he was talking to members of the Ugandan press, he urged his government to chase away all members of the terrorist group, RNC, so as a sure way of reestablishing cordial relations between the two, hitherto, brotherly countries.

“These two countries share the same value that the peace of the population is a notion thing worth dying for. As citizens of Uganda we will never tolerate anyone that wants to attack Kigali,” he said.

He added that he is very saddened by the way Uganda is dealing with the conflict they have with Rwanda; saying they are being stubborn.

Mbidde believes that brotherhood, sharing experiences and best practices should be put at the fore between the two countries’ relations. That explains why in October, among a large number of Rwandan and allies that were gathered in the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany for Rwanda Day, Mbidde was also among them.
In a phone interview with IGIHE, Mbidde explained how he came to a decision of attending the Rwanda Day, his experience during the great assembly and how listening to the conversation with the Head of State, President Paul Kagame, about Rwanda development, impacted the way he thinks of the relations.

Mbidde said that he took the initiative to register online, which came as an opportunity for he had already planned to travel to Europe for other business engagements. That is how he decided to schedule himself to be in German and attend the Event on 5th, October in Bonn.

“What I heard from testimonies and shared experiences were symptomatic of a people-centered government; with a leader who is at the same page and pace with his people; a leader who is able to freely interact with his people and that should be an example to other leaders; they should all learn to give value to people’ opinion,” he said.

Mbidde explained there are many activities, events and programs in Rwanda that demonstrate that participatory development and inclusive democracy are some of the ways of giving value to people’s opinion.

“There is another event I have not been able to attend but that I would want to participate in; an open talk where people ask questions to the government leaders who answer them instantly and directly. I believe it’s the Umushyikirano; that is the one I want to attend next,” he said.

“You see, most leaders avoid interacting with the people because they do not have answers to their concerns, needs and questions. I live in a country where the president does not have answers to give to the people he leads,,” he added.

Mbidde said that looking at a president who is not scared of answering any questions from the people is an inspiration to him.

“When you look at a country where the President (Kagame) welcomes the people, for me it is an inspiration. The event of Rwanda Day is a lecture room for me,” said Mbidde.

He added that leaders sometimes can allow people to ask questions within the confines of the country borders because they have an army that takes care of their security, but to face the diaspora people requires a purely committed leader.

“I was looking at a president whose spirit is so pure that he is not scared of any question… a leader who is ready to address all problems that are brought forward by Rwandans; in my opinion he has brought hope to Rwanda,” said Mbidde.

Rwanda is no longer just a country, it has become a brand as well Mbidde said that these days, Rwanda is in a place where it is no longer just a country like other countries; it has become a brand of positive change, where everyone gives it as an example.

“For a country to become a brand like Sweden and Israel is a result of partnership between the people and the leaders. When you look unto Sweden and Israel the next county you look up to in the line will be Rwanda. This is a role model.”

Mbidde said that Uganda and Rwanda were born on the same revolutionary umbilical cord, and for that reason, he cannot side with Uganda trying to ferment war with Rwanda.

“I cannot side with Uganda trying to ferment war with Rwanda. If I die because of that I would die a happy man. If there is something worth dying for is that I am opposed to being at war Kigali.”

Mbidde confirmed his desire to strengthen the bond of East African Countries, in a way that when an external force wants to attack Rwanda, all other member states will come to the defense of a member.

In the interview with IGIHE, Mbidde also said that in his life, as a politician opposing the current government of Museveni, he faces people threatening him for raising intellectual debates in defense of Rwandan Government.

Fred Dennis Mukasa Mbidde is a Ugandan politician, member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)