Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto who is currently in Uganda has refuted claims that the intention of his visit is to campaign for the incumbent and National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni.
Mr Ruto said Wednesday during a joint press briefing with Mr Museveni at Kapchorwa State Lodge that his visit is to confirm and cement peace, trade and unity between the two countries.
“ My visit is to confirm the partnership between Uganda and Kenya, enhance commerce and trade for a shared future,” he said.
According to him, there is need for a concerted effort between the two countries to harness the potential of the communities in Sebei and Karamoja sub regions.
“Currently, the Kenyan government is engaged in disarming the Pokoti and Turkana to end cattle rustling in the region. I’ m here to cement peace between the communities shared between the two countries, for instance, the Pokoti and Turkana in Kenya and the Karamojongs in Uganda,” added Mr Ruto.
When asked about the timing of his visit; given the fact that there are presidential campaigns going on in Uganda, Mr Ruto said “President Museveni has been campaigning in Uganda for a very long time. He has sufficient experience and knowledge to campaign for himself. I do not think he requires the support of any Kenyan to campaign for him to be elected by the people of Uganda. The decision as who is to be elected in Uganda is for the people of Uganda to decide.”
However, as partners, Mr Ruto said “we can only come here for goodwill knowing that we stand with the people of Uganda. We value the peace and stability that president Museveni has championed not just in Uganda but in East Africa.”
Last month the Sunday Monitor broke news that Ruto summoned NRM primaries poll losers from Sebei sub-region to his home town, Eldoret in Kenya. It also emerged that on November 18, Mr Ruto had met the NRM flag bearers in various positions in Sebei in Nairobi.
However, when asked about this at the joint press briefing, President Museveni interjected and dismissed the report as rumours.
A report on the meetings in Nairobi and Eldoret prepared by Mr Anthony Kuka Cherotich, the PS political affairs at Uganda’s State House – a copy of which this newspaper saw – indicated that the agenda of the two meetings weaved around the state of NRM in Sebei sub-region, the roads and other social services.