Rugunda withholds statement on Rwanda

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda poured cold water on demands by MPs for a government statement to Parliament, explaining the current stand-off between Uganda and Rwanda.

For more than a week now, movement across Uganda’s borders with Rwanda is restricted, with a number of traders unable to cross into Rwanda with their merchandise, while the Rwandan government has advised its nationals from travelling to Uganda, raising security concerns.

In Parliament today, Rugunda was asked to explain the steps government is taking to issue a travel advisory to Ugandans but the Leader of Government business in Parliament was adamant. He instead told Parliament that both governments were in contact with a view of resolving the current situation and that government was to return before Parliament and provide the final solution.

“The governments of Rwanda and Uganda are in contact and working to resolve the current situation. We pray that gov’t comes with a final solution. We are optimistic that this issue will be resolved,” Rugunda said.

Even when Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked Rugunda about issuance of a travel advisory to Ugandans since Rwanda had issued one, Rugunda said the responsible government departments were to advise on the matter.

“The different departments of government are working on issuing a travel advisory and that govt will also issue a statement on the situation and how it will have been resolved,” Rugunda said.

Rugunda’s response angered legislators with Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko demanding a comprehensive statement from government regarding the matter since Ugandans who need to move between the two countries continue to be in a dilemma with several traders stuck at the borders between Uganda and Rwanda.

Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda weighed in saying that the matter at hand is very serious and requires government to give an explanation to Ugandans on what should and shouldn’t be done.

Kasese Municipality MP Robert Centenary said that the tension between the two countries was affecting Uganda’s exports negatively and hence the need for the impasse to be resolved soon.

Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda last week on grounds that Uganda is hosting elements planning to topple Paul Kagame’s government.