New Vision (Kampala)

19 December 2012

Uganda: President Special Guest At RPF Anniversary

Kigali — PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni will Thursday be one of the special guests at the commemoration of 25 years of the founding of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF).

The celebrations take place at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali. Museveni jetted into Kigali Wednesday afternoon. He was welcomed at Kigali international airport by Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Luise Mushikiwabo, Uganda's Ambassador to Rwanda Richard Kabonero and Chief of Defence Forces of Rwanda Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga.

President Museveni was later hosted to a dinner Wednesday night together with other foreign and local dignitaries at Serena Kigali Hotel.

Also present in Kigali for the celebrations is State minister without Portfolio Richard Todwong, NRM Deputy Secretary General Dorothy Hyuha, NRM Electoral Commission Chairman Elijah Mushemeza, NRM Secretariat administrator Dr. Hassan Galiwango and Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga among hundreds of guests.

As part of activities to mark the anniversary, scholars, diplomats, government and RPF officials took part in an international conference on liberation struggles, with the theme "Inclusive governance, Prosperity and dignity for our people" at Serena hotel.

The Vice Chairman of RPF Christophe Bazivamo said that the country had transcended the 1994 genocide to build peace, unity, fight corruption and created sustainable development amid many challenges and prejudices.

He called for acceleration of regional integration to create synergies and economies of scale in order to stand up to the prejudices of the West.

Foreign Affairs Minister Louis Mushikiwabo castigated the G5 and other global alliances that gang together to intimidate other especially African governments.

Diplomats and expatriates in various contributions warned African countries against seeking self determination as an end in itself and ignoring the forces of globalisation, saying it can lead to isolation of countries like Rwanda.

"Self determination viewed outside the realm of globalization which is a good force can lead to isolation which is tantamount to jungle law.

"There is now redistribution of world power and influence with USA or EU no longer treating Africa as backyard states so we need to get into partnership," said one diplomat.

He however lauded Rwanda's efforts to build a nation-state that claims its place on the world stage.

Advisor to President Paul Kagame, David King, said Rwanda was setting a tone of optimism in this century that belongs to Africa. He urged African countries to shift from celebrating their successful liberation struggles and focus on uplifting the welfare of their people.

Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga called for a re-assessment of the ideologies that informed the liberation struggles to re-direct the countries, instead of quoting impressive growth figures to "account to the wrong constituency" in the West instead of their people. Kabushenga called for another round of liberation that will involve discipline and sacrifice.

Mushemeza called for more networking between states to provide the assertiveness needed for "a new liberation struggle" against poverty and need.

Dr. Golooba Mutebi from Uganda said that lask of good service delivery by governments leads to issues like poor health that gives way to poverty which often cuts across generations, according to a study they had done.

Another panelist Jenerali Ulimwengu from Tanzania said after the liberation struggles there must be a new war against other challenges and new enemies in which the people and the key resource.

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