Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto is one of the few leaders who speak their mind without fear or favour.
When everyone fears to stand up to be counted even in his country, he has never shied away from taking unpopular but right positions.
And that is what he did this week in Kampala.
Africa, and East African leaders have been silent as Rwanda authorities selfishly closed off Katuna border with Uganda, and blocked its citizens from crossing into Uganda as well as stopped goods worth billions of shillings from entering its territory.
Even when Rwanda was stressed with war in early 1990s, borders remained open, for humanitarian, strategic and international law considerations. Therefore one wonders why of all sudden authorities in Kigali think it is really dangerous to live in Uganda. Never mind most of them were born or grew up here. And learned whatever they know on the Ugandan tax payer sweat.
“We also still have a border in one country being blocked by another country in East Africa,” Ruto said, without mentioning countries. “Really, that makes us really concerned. We should be thinking of how to eliminate work permits and how to integrate the region better”.
Ruto couldn’t have been more right.
Uganda and Rwanda are too small. And course, they need a larger East Africa to thrive.
Small talk and childish sensitivities should not escalate to a level analysts are seeing war threats on either borders!
Ruto was spot on to wonder with his trademark, “really!”
We hope there is no hill too high for us to climb, and there is nothing between Uganda and Rwanda that it cannot be resolved. Rwandans will continue crossing to Uganda just as Ugandans will continue going Rwanda. This has been the norm, many years before Mr Museveni Yoweri and his colleague Paul Kagame ever arrived on this planet.
I applaud Mr Ruto for sounding East African.
To recognize the need to take the armband from the leaders who squabble over little things and affects the larger populations.
Kudos Bwana Ruto.