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Rwanda demands apology from Uganda over ‘fake’ news on presidents’ meeting

By Timothy Sibasi, timothy.sibasi@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA –The Rwandan government is demanding an official apology from Uganda’s state minister for International Relations Henry Okello Oryem for giving a news deemed ‘false’ to the Uganda government owned New Vision newspaper last week on Friday that president Kagame of Rwanda had met with his Ugandan counterpart in Dubai on the sidelines of the Global Africa Business Forum.

Screaming headline on the front page of Uganda government owned news paper The New Vision, that President Museveni met for bilateral talks with president Paul Kagame in Dubai last Friday.

The New Vision quoted Okello Oryem, the Ugandan State minister for International affairs, whom it claims confirmed the Kagame-Museveni “bilateral meeting”.

It wasn’t reported on Rwanda news, and no tweets, no photos on Flickr which many say is unusual.

“All engagements that President Kagame takes part are reported before and after they take place on @UrugwiroVillage, the official Twitter account of the President’s office. Within about an hour, photos are always also availed on the official Flickr page.” the Rwandan government official website noted.

All officials that travelled with President Paul Kagame including his head of protocol Col. Sarah Kabuye have confirmed.

“For all the engagements President Kagame held in Dubai, such as the appearance on the Forum’s Presidential panel and tour of the event’s exhibition, they were reported.” Says Sarah Kabuye chief protocol officer for president Kagame.

Embattled Ugandan minister Henry Okello Oryem giving an interview in his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in August 2017.

Yet Oryem, who was in Dubai, said there was a bilateral meeting and actually gave details.

“The Rwandan government is dismayed and still baffled with the remarks of State Minister Okello Oryem.”

“It is unclear why the Ugandan minister Oryem would make up such information, and give it to a government publication.” Sarah Kabuye noted.

The New Vision had to apologize last week when it ‘falsely’ reported that the country’s police chief was being protected by the army.

In December last year, the New Vision also apologized and retracted a cartoon about the 1994 genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda, which turned to be in bad taste.

What remain unclear is whether Minister Oryem and the New Vision will apologize for the fake news passed on to the world.

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