|A Soft Smile behind a Darker Heart of Jeannette|
What was her mission to Uganda?
Her mission was an advance party for her man – Mr. Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda. Her assignment was to persuade Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni , the President of the Republic of Uganda to receive her husband who is keen to urgently begin the process of reconciliation. The plan was that Mr. Paul Kagame would soon follow his wife’s diplomatic undertaking for softening the ground. The Rwandan dictator was prepared to spend several days in Uganda to mend fences with his former mentor turned arch rival and indeed enemy, as mutually acknowledged.
Jeannette’s juvenile diplomacy collapses
Jeannette Kagame’s mission impossible to Uganda was a total flop. President Museveni would not even receive her let alone agree to the Kagames’ scheme of reconciliation. Madam Kagame went back to Rwanda empty-handed and humiliated. Her attributes at diplomacy and famous charm failed to soften President Museveni. Mr. Kagame’s planned visit for reconciliation will have to wait for a long time indeed – time which the Rwandan dictator does not have on his side.
Why did Madam Kagame’s charm diplomacy flop so terribly?
One has to look back at the relationship between President Museveni and President Kagame during the past 17 years that may be highlighted as follows:
• Museveni’s NRM government was the springboard for Kagame and his RPF to wage a war against the Habyarimana dictatorship in Rwanda;
• Museveni sought to guide even post-genocide Rwanda, which irritated Kagame who was by now determined to be his own man, and not a junior to Museveni;
• Kagame and Museveni went to Zaire together, removed Mobutu and installed Kabila 1, who they thought would be their stooge;
• Soon the former allies fell upon each other by fighting three times in Kisangani, with Rwanda generally winning these wars – with Kagame utterly humiliating his former mentor Museveni;
• Each side started sponsoring exiled senior officials to destabilize their homelands, and siding with and supporting opposition groups;
• When General Kayumba Nyamwasa was escaping for his life from Rwanda, Uganda assisted him to find his way to South Africa, which infuriated Kagame and his regime;
• An increasingly isolated Rwandan dictator failed to attend Museveni’s swearing for his new term of office, having already failed to show up at the swearing in for Tanzania’s President Kikwete;
• Even when the former Rwandan health minister Sezibera took office as the Secretary General of the East African Community, after Kagame aggressively lobbied for this, the Rwandan dictator was a no show for the occasion;
• The exiled Uganda’s Colonel Muzoora, who was often seen in Kigali, met unexplained death, and his body was dumped at his home village, with some fingers pointing to Kagame’s role;
A toxic environment between former allies
Such was the toxic environment into which Madam Kagame jumped to begin the process of rehabilitating her husband’s shattered image among her peers, beginning with Museveni. His isolation goes far beyond East Africa. Kagame could not set foot at AU Summit in Equatorial Guinea, or at the celebration of South Sudan’s independence. He was also a no show at the World Economic Forum held in Cape Town. In South Africa, of course, Kagame stands accused of attempting to assassinate Kayumba Nyamwasa.
Why did Jeannette Kagame’s charm offensive disintegrate?
The arrogance of the Kagames knows no bounds – they seem to believe that the entire world revolves around them. The Kagames naively assumed that Museveni would happily welcome their “offer” for reconciliation on the Kagames’ terms. The Rwandan dictator couple assumed that the Madam would show up with her children, smile charmingly, and that the butcher of Rwanda would simply follow, spend several days in Uganda, and that they would live happily ever after, having tamed Museveni with their charm. But Museveni knows Kagame’s treachery only too well. Kagame was after all called Pillato when he served in the Ugandan struggle where he was a one-man killing machine and a super spy on everybody. Pillato was of course the military intelligence officer in Uganda where Museveni observed his manipulative skills from close quarters. Museveni has also observed how Kagame rules Rwanda, and how he has betrayed, humiliated, imprisoned, and even killed his former RPF comrades. Where Museveni retains all “historicals” Kagame has none left on his side. Moreover, Museveni has seen the shocking treatment of Fred Rwigema’s widow by the Kagames. Recently, Madam Rwigema could not even travel to Uganda to witness and receive a medal awarded posthumously to her late husband for his bravely during the Ugandan armed struggle. With all this and more as a backdrop, would Museveni dare trust the one-sided scheme of reconciliation hatched by the butcher of Rwanda and his Madam? The answer is NO.
Museveni will not come cheap
Museveni must be smiling to see the boastful and ruthless Rwandan tyrant sweat in the tight corner he has put himself in. Museveni fully recognizes that the troubled dictator next door gasping for the last breath on top of a sinking ship. And the last thing on Kaguta’s mind is to throw the Rwandan dictator a lifeline.
What next after Jeannette’s juvenile diplomatic offensive in Uganda? It is back to the drawing board