Thursday, May 30, 2024
Home > Analysis & Opinions > Opinion: It’s A Year Since Rwanda Closed Border With Uganda & All Is Well
Analysis & Opinions

Opinion: It’s A Year Since Rwanda Closed Border With Uganda & All Is Well

By Sam Evidence Orikunda

Today marks one year and two weeks since President Kagame of Rwanda closed his borders with Uganda.

I think when his administration resolved to close the Katuna border, they thought that Uganda would be finished, our economy would crumble and everything go in shambles, hence forcing us to be on our knees.

However, this hasn’t been the case. Instead, we get reports every day that the innocent citizens of Rwanda are the ones suffering high prices of food, scarcity of food in the markets and several other problems.

This will continue for quite some time since the Rwandan administration seems to be ruling the country by their ego.

I think all of us would want a working relationship where everything works between the two sister Countries but just like most leaders have said, when a head of the family decides to close his gates you don’t force yourself inside, unless you want problems.

 I guess that’s the reason why most of our people in Uganda who have tried to cross the borders have been shot dead and returned in coffins.

This however was likely to continue if our people didn’t take caution, I must commend the citizens of Uganda therefore for keeping within. Life is more precious than money.

After closing borders, Rwanda through Angola and DRC has tried to enter into talks with Uganda and sometimes humiliating our patient and tolerant President.

In the last meeting that happened at Katuna border, President Museveni sat and waited for President Kagame to arrive for two and half hours.

When they came, all of them were dressed casually, a signal that they did not respect and value the talks President Kagame had initiated himself.

A few weeks later, The New times news paper, a Rwandan national publication carried a story asking if  President Museveni was focused on ending the Rwanda-Uganda border impasse.

This was very funny because one would ask if President Museveni is the one who had closed the border or the one in charge to declare Katuna border open.

However much Pan-Africanism is one of the principles of the National Resistance Movement, President Museveni should be respected both in Uganda and outside. The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda describes the President as the “fountain of honor”.

 Rwanda has most times disrespected the Ugandan President either through the media or speeches.

The worst moment being when they made him wait for two hours for the meeting at Katuna border to commence. This is why a few of us who love Uganda as a country and who support President Museveni have come up to speak against the breach of protocol by Kigali administration, demeaning and under looking the sovereignty of Uganda. 

I believe we’ve imparted this Spirit to other Ugandans and they will soon realize that it’s the national cause to make our President and country respected.

 Patriotism captures the love of own country only but I think even loving the leaders of your country isn’t bad.

 I guess it could have been omitted by people who had other interests at that time.

I’ve seen a story in a certain news paper saying that the Uganda exports to Burundi have grown by 20% and I am sure by the end of this year, this will have doubled.

It is also known to the world that South Sudan is now stabilising and I am sure the trading between the two Countries will also advance and then Uganda will have successfully bridged any gaps that could have been created after the closure of the Katuna border.

After one year of the border closure, all is well in Uganda. Thanks to the drivers of the country, the peace is restored; no more highway assassinations and other high level crimes in the country.

The economy is growing and expected to grow further, our people have what to eat and they’re growing more.

 I actually witnessed a situation in Kabale where people were selling Irish potatoes from the garden before even harvesting period.

The Rwandan businessmen would buy from the garden and take almost everything since our people liked money most.

At the end of the season even children would lack what to eat because everything would have been sold and taken away.

This is no longer happening since those who were dealing in that business no longer comes to Uganda.

The prices of those food products declined but have since hiked since Ugandan businessmen have changed routes, so the famers are getting something from what they grow; they see value from their hard work.

A relationship which has failed can never be forced to work. I believe it’s high time the talks between Uganda and Rwanda are also stopped so that we focus on our business as a country and we waste no time.

 It’s not necessary to engage in the talks that will yield no results but only create tensions in the population.

 In the first place, the country which initiated those negotiations is the one again abusing them through the media and other things they do like arresting Ugandan Citizens who cross and even killing some of them.

 It would be meaningless and absolute waste of time if Uganda continued engaging in those sham negotiations with Rwanda.

What builds friendship at the level of individuals is respect for each other. Of recent I’ve learnt that what builds relationship even at the international level is also respect for each other amongst the leaders and the countries.

I think we’ve had challenges because someone wanted to prove his manhood against his senior and was ready to do it respectfully and disrespectfully, through known way and the unknown ways.

 However in my culture we believe that no matter how wise you become while growing old, you can never be more wiser than your father or your elder, there must be something  elders  do that you can’t do and there must be somewhere they reach that you can’t reach.

Therefore going against your elder would not be foolishness but rather a clear way for you to lose hands down.

The God of Uganda is a good God, for all these months that the border has been closed no war  weapon has been set to fire any bullet and no news of war have been heard.

I believe our country has been  poked the more and if our government did not value peace we would have gone to war, actually some known analysts predicted war between Uganda and Rwanda long time ago but it has not happened and I believe it will not happen.

 Those who started the dance will tell us if they’re ready to stop the music or of they would want more time of dancing as we watch.

They will choose between having themselves closed or opening and allowing fresh air so that they’re not suffocated, till then Uganda will consider other ways of doing business meanwhile as they plan to open.

But if they don’t plan to open anytime soon, still it’s their business and rights since the head of the family however small and vulnerable it is, holds the rights on whatever happens inside his perimeter fence.

Conclusively, in this one year the borders have been closed, our people have learnt to live without the market at the  border but still earn  and  therefore solely relying on the market at the border  will stop even if the border opens tomorrow.

I hope it has been a moment of learning, it has opened their minds and broadened their knowledge to have plan B, and we must applaud the Kigali administration for that free lesson given to us and our people.

When you’re used of light at night in the town and you finally leave the town for village, you will get used to darkness in the nights; you may provide lights or choose to always sleep early.

When it’s done and you find peace through that way, then you will live happily just like you did while living in the town.

The writer is a passionate cadre of the movement and aspiring western youth member of Parliament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *