Is Uganda’s President Museveni afraid of Luo, Kalenjin or Luhya presidency?
President Museveni from matoke land fear a head of state from these communities might have a far reaching implication in politics of Uganda and breaking Cord, it is argued, will work in his favour in 2017
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is increasingly exploiting cracks in Kenya’s political set up to entrench his clout beyond his country by splitting the Cord Coalition.
As the governing Jubilee Coalition and opposition gear up for the 2017 general elections, Museveni might not only be keeping a keen eye on Kenya’s political chessboard but could also be an invisible player.
His interest is based on fear that the Luo, Luhya and Kalenjin communities might influence Ugandan politics especially if one of them produces a president. The three communities not only neighbour Uganda but their populations spill across the border.
While Cord co-principal Moses Wetang’ula admits there has been contact between the opposition and the Museveni administration to discuss formation of a grand coalition government, Jubilee says it has not reached out to Cord through Kampala.
“My brother Sam Kuteesa who is a longtime friend approached me on behalf of his friends in Jubilee, requesting me to recognise their victory. I declined because it would have been the highest degree of betrayal of my colleagues in coalition to do so after coming out of a contested election where there was no clear winner,” Wetang’ula says.
The Ford Kenya leader would not, however, open up on what transpired between him and Museveni in subsequent meetings, only saying, “Hiyo wacha bwana, Hiyo wacha (Don’t go there, don’t…”) A top Kenyan lawyer who attends some of the meetings between various political players in Kenya and Museveni’s emissaries told this writer that Museveni is doing everything possible — including helping
Jubilee annihilate the opposition — to consolidate his power.
The lawyer was responding to recent remarks by Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen that the Cord top brass still nurses ‘hangovers’ carried over from the PNU-ODM Grand Coalition government.
Asked if the remarks were informed by alleged meetings between Cord leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo
Musyoka and Wetang’ula and the Uganda government, Murkomen said: “I have personally reached out to Kalonzo on behalf of Jubilee. We believe Kalonzo would be an asset in the run up to the 2017 elections and beyond. He is the focal point in Eastern Kenya, but Wetang’ula is not a focal point in western Kenya. In addition, western is sufficiently represented in government,” Murkomen explains.
Kalonzo, a former vice-president would not respond to inquiries about his supposed meetings
with Museveni or his emissaries. However, he is on record vowing in the past that he will stay put in Cord and slug it out with Raila and Wetang’ula to be given the ticket to run for presidency in 2017.
Murkomen would however not deny or confirm if Museveni has been working to scuttle the opposition in Nyanza, Western, Coast and parts of Rift Valley.
“Jubilee is big and there could be people who have spoken to Museveni. I cannot confirm,” he says.
Deputy President’s spokesman Emmanuel Tallam denies Jubilee is in touch with Kampala to run the Kenyan opposition out of town. He also denies claims that a section of Jubilee is scheming to disorganise the opposition in a calculated move to ferret DP Ruto from government.
“Currently, the government is in transition and the president and his deputies try to shed the baggage carried over from the last government. Sometimes wrong information is sent out and misinterpreted. Those challenges are there, but they are being managed. There is no rift between the President and the deputy,” says Tallam.
He denies knowledge of communication between Nairobi and Kampala about the plot to neutralise
Raila outside his Nyanza home turf.
The source who tipped us off about the meetings between Museveni and Kenyan opposition says the Uganda president has on several occasions invited Cord leader to State House in Entebbe or at his Rwakitura rural home in western Uganda.
“Museveni fears a Luo, Luhya or Kalenjin presidency. It would have far reaching implications on politics in Uganda because the populations of these communities are sizeable in his country. The fear of the border communities makes the Uganda leader uncomfortable. He is trying to convince Raila to be Uhuru’s running mate in 2017, while Wetang’ula has been invited to take up the position of Cabinet secretary for foreign affairs,” the lawyer says.