By Andrew Irumba
Untold secrets behind Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Uganda have been unearthed by our Spies within the corridors of power.
Netanyahu arrived Monday for a one-day working visit to Uganda, during which he is set to meet with leaders of other East African countries.
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, Netanyahu, who is accompanied by his wife, was welcomed by Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Okello Oryem and other government officials.
Before embarking on the journey, Netanyahu is quoted to have told media thus; “I am setting out for another visit to Africa, my fifth in three and a half years.”
He added that “Israel is making a big return to Africa, and Africa has already returned to Israel. These are important ties politically, economically and in terms of security,” he added, noting that he hopes to have good news upon his return.
It should be noted that this is Netanyahu’s second visit to Uganda, after his first one in July 2016, during which he participated in a ceremony in Uganda to mark the 40th anniversary of Operation Thunder, which was a hostage-rescue by Israeli commandos at Entebbe Airport in 1976.
The operation, which aimed to rescue 106 passengers of an Air France flight that was hijacked by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, succeeded in freeing 102 of the hostages. Unfortunately, Netanyahu’s brother Yonatan Netanyahu, who led the mission, was killed.
During the 2016 visit, Netanyahu met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, South Sudan President Salva Mayardit, then-Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, Zambian President Edgar Lungu and former Tanzanian Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga.
However, insiders reveal that this time round he is set to meet president Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame, albeit at different scheduled times. Political pundits contend that Netanyahu’s visit is aimed at ironing out the differences between Uganda and Rwanda, which are both Israel’s great allies in East Africa.
Other Pundits contend that on top of ironing out the Rwanda-Uganda impasse, Netanyahu is also in Uganda to discuss government projections and preparations for the 2021 presidential elections, plus how to handle the postelection period.
It should be noted that Israel has always played a pivotal role in Uganda’s elections, especially by availing government with software that helps in counting and tallying votes from different polling stations to a Central Processing System manned by the Electoral Commission.
Besides the politics, out Spy reveals that Museveni and Netanyahu are also expected to discuss matters of security, chief among which shall be intelligence gathering and sharing between Uganda and Israel, which has been going on ever since the National Resistance Movement (NRM) took over power.
Also on the agenda between Museveni and Netanyahu meeting is discussion of the possibility of Uganda opening up an embassy in Jerusalem, plus encouraging Israeli businessmen to invest in Uganda.
Watch this space for details.