Uganda, Dr Congo sign major Infrastructure, Security Agreements
STATE HOUSE, ENTEBBE: Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have today signed major agreements that will see the two countries bolster cross border trade and development and stabilize Eastern Congo that is wrought with pockets of instability.
The signing ceremony is a follow up to the meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and President Felix Tshisekedi that recently took place at State House Entebbe.
President Yoweri Museveni signed inter-governmental agreement on behalf of Uganda while the Democratic Republic of Congo Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Christophe Lutundula signed on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was witnessed by the new Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanya
On the same occasion a Project Development Agreement was signed between the two countries on cross boarder roads. The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Transport Mr. Bageya Waiswa signed on behalf of Uganda while the DRC Minister of State for Infrastructure and Public Works Mr. Alexi Gisaro Muvunyi signed on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This was witnessed by the new deputy Speaker Anita Annet Among.
The third PDA agreement was signed with the Dott Services Contractors and witnessed by DR Congos Presidential Advisor Bisere Fortunate.
Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony, President Museveni expressed gratitude to President Tshisekedi and the DRC government for accepting to partner with the Uganda government in the three crucial sectors of roads, electricity and security that he said are the pillars of development to any nation.
“This is just butter on a bread roll. Peace is the bread and roads are the butter. It’s good that President Tshisekedi sent his team to do something about the roads. We are also ready to for the electricity. We took power to Kasindi and now Beni and Butembo. We shall extend to Mahangi. We are ready to work on three things, security, roads and electricity. Even if we don’t do anything else for now, people on both sides will be happy with these,” President Museveni said.
Breaking with protocol, President Museveni said a new government has not yet been appointed into place because they need parliament to sit and vet the appointees that is why he had to sign the agreements witnessed by the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. Former Ministers including Same Kutesa who was invited as MC, Gen. Katumba Wamala and former Attorney General William Byaruhanga were invited as guests.
“We have not constituted government now. There are only three people, the President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker. There are no ministers. I will sign with the Deputy Prime Minister,” he said.
President Museveni said Uganda and the DR Congo not only share boarders but their people are the same.
“The Nandis in Congo, the Bakonjo, Banyoro, Bahema, Banyamboga, Bamba, Hutu, Lendu etc are the same people. When there is insecurity, we are affected directly. We currently have 4000 Congolese refugees in Uganda camps and others in society with their relatives,” he said.
PM Christophe Lutundula who delivered a special message from President Tshisekedi to President Museveni said he trusts President Museveni in the three areas of roads, electricity and security and believes that once implemented, the needs of the people here will be met.
“His commitment to these projects is true and firm. We shall implement what is going to be signed today and we believe and are convinced that they will be appreciated and will be of great benefit to the people both current and future generations,” he said.
Mr. Lutundula told the President that his counterpart President Tshisekedi trusts and banks on him and the Uganda government to support DRC in the three sectors for the good of the people of the two countries and reiterated his commitment to the implementation of the said programs.
He added that President Tshisekedi was happy with President Museveni’s Pan-African stand that emphasizes Africans finding solutions for her own problems and said that the signed agreements show President Yoweri Museveni commitment to develop Africa for all Africans with emphasis on the needs of the masses.
He added that the Democratic Republic of Congo counts on Uganda to guarantee security in the great lakes region and asked him to take on the leadership in this crucial area.