Rwandan President Paul Kagame has refused to attend his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s sixth term swearing-in ceremony, delegating junior minister Manasseh Nshuti at the event.
Kagame was the only president among the East African states not attend the pompous event at Kololo Independence grounds on Wednesday May 12.
Kagame who fought along Museveni in the bush war that brought the NRA/NRM to power has in recent years had a cold relationship with the latter, accusing each other of backing rebels against either state and of espionage.
Recently, Kagame told his RPF extended national executive committee meeting that it was high time Rwanda prepared to counter the threat from Uganda.
As Museveni took oath of office for a sixth successive elective five-year term of office at the end of which he will have led Uganda for four decades, Kagame’s absence spoke volumes.
With Burundi’s Evariste Ndayishimiye, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, South Sudan’s Salva Kiir and Tanzania’s Samia Hassan Suluhu all in attendance, Kagame was the only East African head of state that missed Museveni’s inauguration.
Also, with DR Congo president Felix Tshisekedi present, Kagame was the only President of all leaders of Uganda’s neighbors absent.
And the choice of a delegate in State Minister (junior minister) in charge of East African Community Affairs left many talking.