Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has laughed at reports that Rwanda is spying on Uganda, saying they are only wasting their time since it will not yield anything much for them.

“It is a waste of time….. Spying to do what? … but if I have secrets you will not know because they(secrets) are in my head. They are not on a microphone,” Museveni said on Wednesday.

The president was speaking to French TV, France 24 in an exclusive prerecorded interview.

A recent global reporting investigation, the Pegasus Project, published by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) indicated that Rwanda used Israel software, Pegasus to spy on several top ranking Ugandan government officials.

In the report, it was said that the Kigali establishment spied on former Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and former Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa.

“Among the Ugandans on the [wiretapping] list, OCCRP has identified numbers belonging to long-time senior Cabinet member Sam Kutesa, former [Chief of Defence] Forces General David Muhoozi, senior intelligence officer Joseph Ocwet and leading opposition figure Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu. The selection [of the telephone numbers for tapping] coincided with a visit by Kagame to Uganda,” the report revealed.

However when asked about the same, President Museveni said where he didn’t closely follow the reports, he was sure Rwanda wasted their time spying on Ugandan officials since nothing they could get.

Sour relations

In the interview, Museveni also commented on the cold relations between the two neighboring countries that have recently become soiled by counter-accusations of espionage and engaging in activities to destabilize each other.

The “cold war” between the two countries reached its peak when in early 2019, Rwanda closed its busiest border with Uganda at Katuna but also stopped its citizens from crossing to Uganda.

When asked about the closure of the border, Museveni insisted that Ugandan has never closed its border but rather her neighbors did.

“You go and ask the border. I am not the one who closed it. We had discussions (with Kagame) long ago with the mediation of Angola and I have not seen the border being opened,” he said.

When asked about reports that the Kigali establishment sees him as a regional bully, Museveni dismissed the claims as untrue.

“Well, a bully how? By doing what? I don’t agree with it. He should tell you how we are bullies.”

Museveni however said he could not talk about the reason for the souring relations between the two neighboring countries, saying it would be unfair since the other side(Kagame) is not around to defend themselves.

“ I don’t want to go into that because Mr. Kagame is not here and you are not a court. I am not going to justifying my position towards you against Mr. Kagame.”

Despite provocations from Rwanda through comments in various fora, President Museveni has on the other side remained tightlipped about the issue.

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