NEW YORK/KAMPALA —Ugandan journalist Andrew Mwenda was absent as Rwanda President Paul Kagame addressed his 23-man team of advisors in New York, USA, on Sunday.
Mwenda was appointed to the 23-man Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) in 2011 during one of their annual meetings in NewYork, USA. PAC is a group of experts in different fields and of different nationalities who offer strategic advice to the President and the Government of Rwanda.
The council, which met in New York, includes Andrea Redmond, Ashish Thakkar, Christian Angermayer, Dr Clet Niyikiza, Dale Dawson, Dr Donald Kaberuka, Dr Éliane Ubalijoro, Bishop John Rucyahana, Kaia Miller, Michael Fairbanks, Prof. Michael Porter, Michael Roux, Dr Paul Davenport, Pastor Rick Warren and Scott Ford.
However, Mr Mwenda was a no-show with sources saying the journalist was recently removed from the position amid the ongoing diplomatic standoff between Kigali and Kampala.
But when contacted on Monday evening, Mr Mwenda said he was not aware of being removed from his position, insisting that he missed the meeting because of other commitments.
In his speech, Mr Kagame praised his advisors for their support, which he said has facilitated inclusive growth for all Rwandans, be it in urban or rural set-ups.
“After so many years of being together in PAC, things keep changing and they change for the better. People have been working hard, and the people of Rwanda have been a central part of this story,” he said.
“Today, we can say that we have good news in a sense of where the country is. We are not yet there as we all know, but we have made progress. It is still work in progress,” he added.
“Whether it’s education, coffee, or any kind of support, it has become a real life story that people tell. They tell you where they have been, where they are and how they made it to where they are now,” he added.
Mr Kagame is expected to address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.