Rwandan President Paul Kagame made seems to see in first son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba what many of his critics don’t see in the 48-year-old UPDF officer.
According to President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, “President Kagame and Muhoozi have a long history together. They are old friends.”
Little wonder, the first son invited the Rwandan president as chief guest for his birthday celebration.
And it was Kagame’s turn to speak about Kainerugaba, the Rwandan leader talked of how the president’s son had put his last 48 years to good use.
He also predicted better years ahead for Muhoozi.
“So far, what we know, what we’ve been told, what is true is that the 48 years have been used very well,” said Kagame.
“And therefore, there is no doubt that many more years that we wish for him ahead are going to be used even better.”
The president also saluted Museveni’s son for his role in efforts to restore relations between Kampala and Kigali.
Kagame told Kainerugaba that great generals are those like him who “win peace” instead of fighting and winning wars.
He revealed that given the “strong and deep” ties that bind Uganda and Rwanda together, he knew that the difficulties in the relationship between the two countries would not last forever.
According to the Rwandan leader, Kainerugaba “initiated” the “very good conversations” to restore relations between Rwanda and Uganda.
“He went through friends and asked for my telephone number. And so I provided the direct line,” Kagame said.
“He asked me in a message if I could accept talking to him in that direct way. Even before I knew what he wanted to tell me, I accepted. He came. All this happened in a very short time of about two weeks.”
From Kagame’s words, Kainerugaba was that special envoy that cracked the hard nut that had troubled the two nations.
“When I received Muhoozi, I had been getting emissaries from the president and government to talk about these difficulties. From the beginning I knew the messages and messenger would be different from the usual ones. Messengers are not the same,” noted Kagame.
“I was absolutely aware and convinced, in accepting to meet Muhoozi, that it was his father who was behind the message. I was under no illusion that it was Muhoozi operating on his own.”
Kagame said Rwanda and Uganda are on a path to “peace and harmony.”
“That is what it should be. We are now moving forward,” he added.
Kagame then talked of the great expectations many people have in Kainerugaba.
“I am sure that you are aware that there are a lot of expectations that you will continue on the path of progress of Uganda and for the region for many years to come,” said the Rwandan leader.
“The expectation is based on the history that we have been told and some of us know. You have been raised by president Museveni and the First Lady in a way that I am sure would have an impact on you. But you are also yourself. One can count on the investment in yourself to be the MK we have come to know.”