Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta last Saturday became the first head of state to congratulate President Museveni, upon winning Thursday’s elections which effectively extends his grip on Uganda to 35 years.
Using his Facebook and Twitter accounts, Kenyatta said: “The people of Uganda have spoken, and they have spoken very clearly. We respect their choice of president Museveni.”
“I am very pleased to congratulate President Museveni on his re-election as President of Uganda.”
“Kenya values its close friendship with Uganda. That friendship is founded on a common history, a common culture, and common interests. In years past, we have worked closely together for the prosperity and freedom of our nations.”
President Kenyatta was 24 years when President Museveni, 71, took power in 1986 after a five-year guerilla war. He was voted Kenya’s president in March 2013.
Mr Kenyatta’s congratulatory message, however, attracted loathsome comments from the citizenry of both Kenya and Uganda.
Similarly, embattled Burundian president Pierre Nkurunziza took to Twitter to post: “I wish to hereby convey my warmest congratulations for Kaguta Museveni’s well-deserved re-election. May God bless #Uganda and #Burundi.”
The Burundian leader came under fire last year after he tinkered with the constitution, and extended his rule beyond the mandatory two terms, which has plunged the impoverished country into anarchy, which, according to UN, has left scores dead and displaced over 300,000 people.
President Museveni was tapped by the East African Community (EAC) and supported by the international community to lead the mediation process between Mr Nkurunziza and the opposition.