Presidents Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame have agreed to engage each other more in a bid to avoid suspicion and mistrust of any wrong doing by each other.
Museveni last week called off his trip to Kigali where he was slated to attend the African Continental Free Trade Area Treaty (AfCTA), a move many have since interpreted as a sign of suspicion between the two heads of state.
On Sunday, Kagame paid his Ugandan counterpart a one day working visit in which they held a meeting and discussed a number of issues affecting both countries.
Addressing a joint press both presidents admitted that the issues of espionage and suspicion by each of the two countries was discussed during the closed door meeting.
“We discussed that issue .The answer to that is close cooperation between intelligence services so that they get facts on each case,”Museveni answered when asked about the issue of suspected espionage by both countries against each other by journalists at Entebbe on Sunday.
In the past, there were reports that Ugandan security agencies especially the police had been infiltrated by foreign agents aimed at carrying out espionage for Rwanda.
The reports also indicated that there was bad blood between the Kampala and Kigali based governments over the same matter.
Some media reports concluded that Rwandans were being harassed in Uganda as well as Ugandans in Kigali over suspicion of being engaged in espionage.
Recently, president Museveni admitted that some security agencies were infiltrated by foreign agents with a sole aim of espionage before warning that he would deal with them.
“Security agencies should not be hijacked and should not start working for criminals. This is like AIDS which hijacks someone’s body.We can’t allow political AIDS where security agencies work for criminals, foreigners or anybody who is not Ugandan,”Museveni said last month at the Kawumu stage lodge.
On Sunday President Museveni said all these problems had been brought about due to poor communication between the various stakeholders from both sides.
“There has been not enough coordination not only for intelligence side but even on development side like the railway and electricity. It seems people don’t use phones,”Museveni noted.
The president said that there has been a problem of lack of communication from both sides citing Ugandan ministers who cannot call their counterparts from Kigali to solve some of the issues in contention.
“Like these people who may have done this here and there. Why not consult? People involved should work closely and a lot of confusion will be eliminated.
He emphasised,” There is no fundamental conflict between Rwanda and Uganda. I don’t see it. There is not even a border conflict. There is no issue really.”
His Rwandan counterpart also added his voice onto the comments by President Museveni saying that on many occasions, small issues are reported out of context.
“There are so many things said or reported out of context. We have agreed to have concerned institution on both side to work and get to the bottom of the problems,”Kagame told journalists.
“I emphasise working together more deeply to bring on facts to take the right decisions.”
Many had concluded that Museveni’s cancelation of his trip to Rwanda last week despite his advanced security team already being in Kigali as a form of revenge by the Ugandan head of state for Kagame’s absence during the East African Heads of State Summit in Kampala in February meant to raise funds for health and infrastructure developments in the region.
This, to many was a climax of accusations between the two countries including espionage and support to dissidents from each other.
The relation between the two sister countries will remain to be seen following the meeting between the two former five year bush war heroes in Uganda.