By Robert Rutoma
The Government of Uganda has distanced itself from a congratulatory message to the newly elected Burundi President, which was circulating on social media platforms.
The message, congratularing Evariste Ndayishimiye after he was declared winner of the Burundian elections, had been attributed to the Uganda Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a strongly worded letter, the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs termed the message “false” and “misleading”, and asked people to disregard it.
In an unprecedented display of caution in matters regarding Burundi, the Government of Uganda said it would make its position known after the official declaration of the results.
However, the messaging confusion sparked speculations that this was only a public manifestation of longstanding bad blood between Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa, and the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Adonia Ayebare.
The speculation is that Ayebare issued the congratulatory message to Ndayishimiye without consulting ‘headquarters’, which unsettled his boss, the Foreign Minister. The latter then issued the letter that distanced the Government of Uganda from the message, leaving Ayebare “red in the face”.
Speculation further links the bad blood between Kutesa and Ayebare to the leaking of information regarding the bribery by Patrick Ho to President Museveni and Kutesa.