Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame used his speech at the marriage ceremony of fallen freedom fighter Maj Gen Fred Rwigyema’s daughter Teta Gisa to tell President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni and the Ugandan state to stop meddling in Kigali’s affairs.
Teta Gisa, an employee of Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, married her fiance Mervin Manzi, a technology officer at Volkswagen Mobility Solutions, Rwanda.
President Kagame and his wife Jeanette were in attendance at the marriage ceremony that happened in the capital Kigali.
In his remarks, Kagame was concerned that Eric Gisa, one of Rwigyema’s children, had chosen to stay outside Rwanda. Rwigyema died at the age of 33.
“Fred and I and our families date from way back in Nshungyeezi, Toro and so on. Fred’s mother here bears testimony. I am concerned and I am sending you Teta, your mother Jeanette and perhaps your grandmother, I have not seen at this wedding, Fred’s son,” said Kagame.
“He [Eric Gisa] is supposed to be here in the country. A country that his father and others fought so hard to liberate and indeed liberated. Deliver my message to your brother that I don’t want and don’t like that Fred’s son is a refugee.”
Kagame saluted Teta for choosing to work in Rwanda unlike Eric who has chosen to keep away.
“Jeanette [in reference to Rwigyema’s widow], no matter what it takes, Fred’s son has got to be here. He has to return to the country in whatever way. It’s not right that when [Eric Gisa] comes he runs to neighbours.”
A former Ugandan government military officer, Kagame the accused a neighboring country he wasn’t comfortable naming, but who was widely interpreted to be Uganda — given the frosty relations between the two nations in recent years — of meddling in Kigali’s affairs.
“Those neighbours have involved themselves in our lives, our wellbeing, our country, from way back until today. They don’t understand,” noted Kagame.
“I don’t want anyone giving a bad name to my family or Fred’s.”
Kagame even told guests at the marriage ceremony that Rwandans had not sought anyone’s help to liberate their nation, and therefore, nobody should order them around.
“I have kept quiet for a long time. I pick my battles carefully. A lot has been said. It is not right. I have had enough time to talk about these matters with the concerned leaders and whatever I am telling you is what I have told them; that we can only be guided by God not humans,” said the Rwandan strongman.
“We fought as Rwandans. We went to war to liberate this country without anyone’s help.”
But available records show that the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) received immense support from the Ugandan government in terms of supply of arms, food and medicines, among others.
In fact, the 1994 fall of Kigali is said to have become a reality with the intervention of top Ugandan army commanders.
Nonetheless, Kagame made it clear to Museveni and Uganda that “it’s not acceptable that anyone that is not Rwandan will show and tell us what to do.”
“It’s simply unacceptable,” Kagame emphasized.
Additional Reporting: Courtesy