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Does Museveni Have Plans To Fix Problems With Rwanda?

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The inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday is a sharp reminder that politics is just but a game. It will be a moment to ponder on whether to believe politicians.

Museveni who gunned his way to the helm of the country after a protracted guerrilla war against Presidents Idi Amin and Milton Obote’s governments will on Wednesday go down in history as a leader who reneged his own convictions of early 90’s.

The 77 year-old former rebel leader is on record through his book ‘sowing the mustard seed’ (1997) identifying Africa’s problem being leaders overstaying in power. Museveni has been in power since 1986, and subsequently abolishing Presidential term limits in 2005 to allow himself continuous grip on power.

Later the constitutional provision on age limit (75years) for those seeking the position of President was scrapped provoking a year-long protests against this adjustment.

“I think you should ask the medical doctors. I should not interfere with their work. You should get a medical report about the fitness of someone past 75 years: on whether that person is physically fit to lead or not?,” Museveni said in 2017.

Ugandans are extremely supercharged ahead of Museveni’s inauguration on Wednesday almost five months after winning the controversial January 14 election with 58.64% of the votes.

Esther Mbayo, Minister for the Presidency revealed that a total of 21 heads of state and world leaders have confirmed will attend Museveni’s inauguration in the capital Kampala.

“The president has extended invitations to 42 Heads of State both from Africa and the rest of the world, and so far 21 have confirmed attendance,” Mbayo said.

Other details indicate that a total of 4,000 guests have been invited to attend the function at Kololo Independence Ceremonial grounds in the capital, Kampala, under strict COVID-19 prevention measures, amid criticism that Museveni will himself fault the tactic.

Failed Diplomacy

Uganda which used to enjoy good neighbourliness from 60’s until early 90s has drastically lost its friendships and considered a regional security threat due to Museveni’s antagonism.

In 2019, Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda accusing the northern neighbour of hosting and facilitating Rwanda’s enemies. Hundreds of Rwandans have suffered torture, detention without trial and death on suspicion that they are engaged in espionage.

Rwanda’s government ordered its citizens not to travel to Uganda claiming that Rwandan citizens were not safe across the border.

In August 2019, Museveni and Kagame flew to Angola’s capital, Luanda for mediated talks and later agreed to “refrain from actions conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of the other,” according to a statement issued at the end of the talks between the two leaders.

Relations between Rwanda and Uganda have quietly remained hostile. The two countries have been making mutual allegations of espionage, political assassinations and meddling.

On May 1, President Kagame convened a two-day Extended National Executive Committee for the Ruling Party Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) and told cadres that Rwanda wants  a peaceful coexistence with neighbours.

According to Kagame, the relationship with Rwanda and four neighbours is good except for one neighbour to the north -Uganda, whose problem with Rwanda he has failed to understand.

With these remarks, Uganda did not issue any statement nor did any of its high ranking government officials make any remarks, but Uganda immediately deported 17 Rwandans via Kagitumba border including; 14 males and three females all accused of espionage.

Meanwhile, in 2018, President Kagame flew to Entebbe, Uganda and met his counterpart Museveni with an objective of fixing their grievances. The two leaders later jointly addressed the press.

Museveni was tasked to explain the harassment against Rwandans in Uganda. “I think there needs close cooperation between intelligence services,” he said.

Museveni lied on camera. “There is no fundamental conflict between Rwanda and Uganda,” Museveni said during a joint presser.

Rwandans and Ugandans are anxiously waiting for Museveni’s address during his inauguration and would prefer the Ugandan leader comes clean on the issue of mending fences with Rwanda.  

Uganda’s aggression against Rwanda has caused jittery, with the international community wondering where this situation is headed to.

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National

Police Intercepts 88 People At Wedding Reception

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About 88 people have been intercepted at a wedding reception convened at Green Mountain Biking Garden in Nyamirambo a suburb in the capital Kigali.

According to details, the wedding was of a couple identified as Buregeya Saidi Codo (34 yrs) and Nyampundu Thausie.

Other details showed that apart from the bride and groom, the rest of the group did not test for COVID-19 as prerequisite for attending such an event. This is in addition to violation of physical and social distancing guidelines on COVID-19.

As the norm, all the people that have been at the wedding event will spend the whole night at Amahoro Stadium and will be subjected to other procedures.

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National

Africa Mourns Zambia’s Founding President Kenneth Kaunda

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The government of the Republic of Zambia has declared 21 days of mourning to honour the life of former President Kenneth Kaunda who died Thursday.

According to the Secretary to the Cabinet and Principal Private Secretary to the president Simon Miti said Dr Kaunda died peacefully at 14:30 hours at the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka, just three years short of a century at 97 years.

Dr Kaunda was Born on April 28, 1924.

President Edgar Lungu said during the period of mourning, all activities of entertainment nature will be suspended and all flags will fly at half-mast.

He said through Cabinet Office, Government will guide the public on details of the funeral and burial programme for the fallen former head of State, taking into consideration the COVID-19 guidelines as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.

President Lungu has since sent his condolences to the family of Dr Kaunda on behalf of Government and Zambians.

Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga, a former diplomat in Dr Kaunda’s government for many years, said he will remember the former President for his passionate commitment to liberate the continent from colonialism.

“His contribution to Zambia, Africa and the world was huge and was regarded larger than life. He mentored and gave me opportunities at a young age of 21 years,” Mr Mwaanga said in a statement.

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National

New ICC Prosecutor Karim Asad Takes Oath

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The International Criminal Court officially has a new Prosecutor that begun working on Wednesday after taking oath at a ceremony held at the Seat of the Court in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC a national of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will serve as Prosecutor for a period of nine years.

“I solemnly undertake that I will perform my duties and exercise my powers as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court honourably, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously, and that I will respect the confidentiality of investigations and prosecutions,” Khan declared.

Khan then signed his oath before the ICC Registrar, Mr Peter Lewis, and delivered his first remarks as the Prosecutor of the ICC.

“The Rome Statute architecture is a promise to the future that tomorrow need not be as bleak and sorrowful as yesterday”, stated Prosecutor Khan.

“I am truly and sincerely humbled at my opportunity to serve, and the responsibilities that have been entrusted in me. I will do my outmost to discharge those responsibilities without fear or favour, faithfully and with integrity, and in full conformity with solemn declaration that I have just given”, he added.

Subject to provisions of Article 45 of the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC, the ceremony was held in open court.

The ceremony was presided over by ICC President, Judge Piotr Hofmański.

“While Judges are the ones who ultimately decide on the verdict in each case, it is also true that those cases would never reach the judges without the Prosecutor’s decision to bring them to court,” President Hofmański noted.

He also said that It is the Prosecutor who is responsible for the way in which preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions are conducted, and how evidence for the prosecution is selected and presented.

“On behalf of the Court, I offer heartfelt congratulations to Mr Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC. As President of the Court, I look forward to working with him to strengthen our joint institution”, he added.

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