This week, the people of Rwanda resoundingly affirmed that President Yoweri Museveni is not Kigali’s enemy but a friend, brother and a respected strategic ally they badly need to reckon with.
On Thursday while entering Kigali, the Capital City of Rwanda, for the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Museveni got a masterclass hero’s welcome akin to the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.
Mammoth crowds, in thousands, lined up on the roadsides from Katuna border to Kigali, to welcome him.
The moment was defined by excitement as people stood by the roadside and balconies of tall buildings and enchanted Museveni with words of praise and heroism. They endlessly, in joy, waved as his motorcade passed.
For starters, this was President Museveni’s first visit to Rwanda in five years. To be more precise, it is Museveni’s first visit to Rwanda since the relations between Uganda and Kigali deteriorated to an all time low when Rwanda in February 2019 closed the border accusing Uganda of hosting its enemies and torturing Rwandans living in Uganda, allegations Kampala denied.
Rwanda strongly advised Rwandan nationals to desist from crossing into Uganda, saying it can’t protect them.
President Paul Kagame noted then that Uganda is not safe for Rwandans, apart from those plotting to destabilize Rwanda.
“You can only be safe in Uganda if you are against Rwanda, that’s the only way they will welcome you. I have come to accept that we advise Rwandans not to go to Uganda. But we don’t stop other people from coming here and we don’t touch them,” he said.
The claims were seemingly intended to insight the people of Rwanda against President Yoweri Museveni and Uganda(ns), something the masses rejected given the historical brotherly relations of the two countries and their people, but most importantly, Museveni’s fatherly role in the making of current Rwanda and its leaders.
Thousands of Rwandan nationals have lived in Uganda for decades and continue to do so in harmony with both Ugandans who welcomed and the state.
In fact, when the border was closed, several Rwandan made attempts to use illegal routes to enter Uganda – Rwanda’s security shot dead a number, in a bid to scare them from coming.
That, was explicitly a vote of no confidence in Kagame’s narrative. The population refused to buy into his false propaganda.
Museveni’s historic welcome on Thursday further proves this point. If at all, Museveni and his administration harbored bad motives against Rwanda and its people, the Uganda would actually have been rejected.
As a dog enthusiast, I will based my argument on the behavior of dogs. For a fact, dogs can tell what is good and what is evil. With people, for instance, a dog will be able to root out good and evil based on simple things such as tone of voice and body language.
When a dog picks up on good and evil, its behavior and actions will vary based on whether it senses something good or bad.
Of course, the behavior a dog displays will also be based on its own personality and temperament, but it will display a natural reaction to the good or evil that it senses. If a dog senses something good, you will generally see a variety of positive signs.
This includes signs such as wagging its tail, jumping up, barking in an excited way where it may start running back and forth, looking alert, becoming playful, and licking the person.
On the other hand, if a dog senses evil, the signs may include growling and snarling, exposed teeth, raised hackles, whining, whimpering, cowering, hiding away, or going into attack mode.
The love, honor, tribute and approbation that characterised President Museveni’s triumphal entry in Kigali is not one for an enemy, but a prestigious, reputable and dependable ally Rwandan national want to continue contending with.
The writer is a Ugandan Journalist with passion for current African affairs.