“Security is aiming at having the most peaceful meeting of the leaders and these are some of the issues we looked at to have the best preparations for this high-profile summit," Maate says.
Elly Maate, the Kigezi Regional Police spokesperson. Photo by Job Namanya
Vehicles moving through Katuna border town may have to consider alternative routes until the end of the meeting between Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame this Friday.
Buses that have been going through Katuna will have to consider other access borders such as the Kamwezi border in Rukiga and Kagitumba border in the Ntungamo district.
For the taxis and other public transport vehicles that have been going through Katuna to Rubaya Sub-County, an emergency diversion has been created at Kyonyo trading centre in Kamuganguzi along the Kabale-Katuna road.
According to Elly Maate, the Kigezi regional Police spokesperson, the new traffic guidelines are just for a short while and they are apologetic to all who are affected by these directives.
"Security is aiming at having the most peaceful meeting of the leaders and these are some of the issues we looked at to have the best preparations for this high-profile summit. We shall, however, restore the situation to its former state immediately after this meeting," said Maate.
Taxi operators along the Kabale-Katuna road said that they have no problem with security guidelines due to their respect of the meeting and expectations.
"Based on our wishes and expectations from Friday's meeting, we do not want to focus on these directives as a hindrance to our businesses. We pray for the best out of the meeting for the revamp of our businesses," said Alex Mbaziira, a taxi driver.
Since February 27 last year, Rwanda put a stop on the movement of goods from Uganda to its territory and it also restricted the movement of its citizens to Uganda.
Efforts to solve the crisis have been undergoing between the two countries.
In August last year, Kagame and Museveni signed a memorandum of Understanding in Luanda, Angola. Recently, the two leaders met again in Angola where they resolved to meet again at Katuna/Gatuna border on February 21.
At the moment, the border is being set to host this high delegation meeting. Most Construction works in the no-man land are done and the venue is getting to the required standard
Nelson Nshangabasheija, the Katuna town council mayor said that their wish for Friday's meeting is a long-lasting solution to the standoff.
"We have had enough share of the suffering. Katuna is no longer the busy town it used to be all that is left here are structures without business. We miss our brothers and sisters from Rwanda. This Friday meeting should at least be the best towards the restoration of our lost glory," he said.
The Ndorwa West Member of Parliament, David Bahati who is also the state minister for planning noted that this meeting is a great source of hope for residents who have struggled for long.
"Our people have been patient for long and we thank the efforts that are currently being made. Our main prayer is that this problem gets the best solution as soon as possible," said Bahati.