, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – A section of Members of Parliament have criticised the involvement of senior Kenyan officials in election campaigns of incumbent Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
The Parliamentary Caucus for Reforms on Tuesday said it is against diplomatic protocol for Kenya to show support for any candidate running for election in a friendly country.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka have in the recent past campaigned for President Museveni who is seeking re-election.
"Kenya needs to behave neutrally when it comes to internal matters of an independent country," said the chairman of the caucus Danson Mungatana
"Why does Kenya operate on political expediency instead of a firm foreign policy?" he wondered.
He said the interference could be detrimental to Kenya\’s relationship with its biggest business partners.
"Every person who has done business knows that 52 percent of our exports are taken to Uganda. Today you will support President Museveni… tomorrow Museveni is (possibly) leaving office and the opposition will come to power. What will happen?" he asked.
"Why ruin the country\’s relationship because of political convenience?"
Besides the PM and the VP, a number of MPs including Eugene Wamalwa and William Ruto have also visited the Ugandan leader.
Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale claimed President Museveni was using a boardroom plot to take over the leadership of the East African Community.
"The reason why President Museveni has promised Kenya that he will give us the position of the EAC Secretary General against the treaty provisions is because he wants us to support his ambitions," charged Dr Khalwale.
The two MPs also criticised the government’s push to have a Kenyan appointed as Secretary General of the East African Community claiming it was a breach of diplomatic agreements.
Mr Mungatana said Kenya should allow Rwanda and Burundi who have not held the rotational post to vie for it, since Kenya held the first post at inception. He termed as selfish the government’s argument that Francis Muthaura\’s five-term at inception of the community does not count since it was on a transitional period.
"Kenya needs to create a proper atmosphere of good neighbourliness. We should not backtrack on promises that have been made," he urged.
Dr Khalwale said: "The big brother attitude by Kenya in 1977 partly contributed to the collapse of the EAC and we are afraid if we go on like this we risk another collapse."
The term of Tanzanian Juma Mwapachu ends in April and Kenya is aggressively lobbying for the seat.
Dr Khalwale however said Kenya risked losing business prospects in Rwanda by trying to bulldoze its way to take the seat.
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