Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has spoken on the upcoming elections in Kenya slated for August 2022.
Museveni’s comments came against the backdrop of MPs from his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party joining Deputy President William Ruto on the campaign trail in West Pokot. Museveni’s meetings with Ruto in the past year have fueled speculation that he might support the DP.
The Ugandan leader, however, denied backing Ruto or any other candidate for President of Kenya when questioned on the matter. He spoke in an interview with State-owned newspaper New Vision published on January 24.
“Elections in Kenya or any other African country are a matter for the people of that country. We never take sides in the internal affairs of other countries,” Museveni maintained.
Several NRM legislators voiced their support for Ruto when they joined him during campaigns in West Pokot county over the weekend.
They were led by Kween County MP William Chemonges who urged Kenyans to embrace Ruto’s candidacy. He stated that a Ruto Presidency would benefit Ugandans as he would guarantee smooth trade relations between Kenya and Uganda.
They referenced current challenges in cross-border trade and bickering between the two nations over imports and exports of agricultural products.
“He is very thoughtful, caring and passionate about progressive diplomatic relationships which aim at improving the lives of ordinary people regardless of the boundaries.”
“It is not political but natural that Ruto loves Uganda, especially the Sabiny people in the Eastern region whom he publicly refers to as cousins,” Chemonges stated.
Chemonges disclosed Ruto’s support for several projects in Uganda including the construction of schools and churches in the Sebei and Karamoja sub-regions. He further stated that Ruto had been “very central” in the lobbying for the Kapchorwa-Suam road which made it easier for Ugandans to get to Nairobi.
Amudat District Woman MP Betty Chelain also expressed support for Ruto, stating that countries in the East African Community (EAC) needed leaders who value inter-state relationships.