President Museveni decorate Kagame. Photo by Arthur Kintu

Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea have been decorated with the Pearl of Africa medal, the highest honour reserved for the heads of state, in recognition of his contribution to the 1981-1986 NRM/NRA liberation struggle of Uganda. Kagame also recieved Kagera medal.

President Yoweri Museveni decorated his counterparts at the ongoing National Resistance Movement (NRM) 26th anniversary celebrations taking place in the eastern district of Kapchorwa.

The two presidents are among the 470 other individuals to receive awards for their contribution to the liberation struggle.

The chairperson of the National Honours and Awards committee Gen. Elly Tumwine read out the names of the two presidents and gave background of the leaders’ contribution to the liberation struggle.

He then invited president Kagame to the podium where he was decorated. Nguema was second to be decortaed. He is also the African Union (AU) chairman.

Addressing the gathering Kagame expressed his appreciation for the recognition. “I am greatly humbled and honoured. I wish to express my deepest gratitude for this recognition.  I duly accept these medals.”
He added, “We were availed an opportunity to participate in the liberation of this country but what we gave will never be equal to what we get.”

Kagame dedicated the medals to Ugandans who committed their lives to fight for the liberation of Uganda.  The Rwandan leader hailed the strong ties between his country and Uganda.

NRA took power in January 1986 after ousting the government of the late Tito Okello following 5 years of guerrilla war.

The celebrations under the theme: “Uganda the Land of Opportunities: NRM’s contribution during the last half of the 50 Years of Uganda’s Independence”, come at a time when the country will celebrate 50 years of independence in October.

By Apollo Mubiru, The New Vision

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