Rwanda’s powerful Defence Minister Gen James Kabarebe has urged his countrymen to stop “scavenging” in Uganda, the Rwandan media reports.
Addressing about 3,000 graduates of a political programme known as Ingando in Nyagatare on Wednesday, Kabarebe expressed disappointment that Rwandans continue to “Guhunahuna” (scavenging) in Uganda.
‘Guhunahuna’ is a Kinyarwanda term used to describe dogs searching for leftovers
Kabarebe, according to Rwandan news website Ukwezi, told participants drawn from different parts of the country that the neighboring countries of DRC, Burundi and Uganda don’t wish Rwanda well.
“They are always jealous of Rwanda’s future and how well our people are progressing,” he said.
The Defence Minister, who hails from Ibanda, Western Uganda, gave an example of Rwandans, who were arrested and reportedly tortured in Uganda, to claim that was evidence of “envy.”
He asked his countrymen to “build your country instead of scavenging in Uganda because they are not better off than us.”
The website has pictures of Gen Kabarebe addressing the crowd but did not post the audio or video recording of his speech. The Rwandan government is yet to distance itself from Kabarebe’s speech.
A former combatant in the NRA, Kabarebe participated in the RPF war that ushered President Kagame into power in 1994.
He would later take part in Rwanda’s military operations in DRC that toppled President Mobutu and helped Laurent Kabila Sr to take power.
Rwanda’s Ambassador to Uganda, Maj Gen Frank Mugambage did not respond to our communication seeking clarification on Gen Kabarebe’s controversial speech.
Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Amb Mugoya could not comment on the development as he was reportedly busy with preparations for the Northern Corridor Summit in Nairobi, Kenya this week.
But Mugoya recently said, “Uganda’s relations with Uganda are okay”, irrespective of a myriad of bilateral challenges.
This is not the first time the Minister was being accused of making disparaging remarks against Uganda.
Nsanzimana Ernest ni Umwanditsi mukuru w’Ikinyamakuru Umuryango. Yatangiye gukorera iki kinyamakuru muri Nzeli 2016, afite Impamyabumenyi y’Icyiciro cya Kabiri cya Kaminuza (A0) mu Itangazamakuru n’Itumanaho yakuye muri Kaminuza y’u Rwanda Ishuri ry’ itangazamakuru n’ itumanaho