Kenya MPs enraged by Museveni

May 13, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – Angry Kenyan legislators on Wednesday demanded explanation and answers from the government following remarks by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on the disputed Migingo Island which they termed was an ‘insult and derogatory’.

The legislators want President Mwai Kibaki to explain why President Museveni insulted Kenyans over the Migingo Island row.

Museveni was reported in the international media saying that the disputed island is in Kenya but the water surrounding it is Uganda’s.

“We want Kibaki to tell Museveni that his comments on the Luo are unacceptable; we can’t let him bring his dictatorial tendencies in our country,” Gwasi MP John Mbadi said. "Our country must remain sovereign. He (Museveni) must be reminded that the bulk of the waters in Lake Victoria comes from Kenya."

Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa said that the matter is not about to end and it concerns the international community.

Several MPs rose to register their disappointment over Kenya’s handling of the issue. They have said that the Kenya leadership has apparently failed in its efforts to push for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

“Can the President come out forcefully to react to this issue,” he added.

MPs want Kenya to take decisive action against Uganda to reclaim its territorial integrity and if necessary seek international help through the United Nations Security Council.

But the debate came to an abrupt end due to lack of quorum after Assistant Defence Minister David Musila led the government side in a walkout of Parliament arguing that they were not being given a chance by temporary speaker Philip Kaloki to contribute to the debate.

The Government had earlier argued that diplomatic channels had yet to be exhausted, and that even if they failed they should seek mediation and a legal avenue before considering military intervention.

"There are many avenues starting with diplomacy and with the thousands of options available. We cannot just go to war with a friendly nation," Mr Musila told Parliament.

But backbenchers argued that Uganda was no longer a friendly nation after it attacked the Luo community.

"How can we describe Uganda as a friendly nation when it has demonised a section of our community,” Mr Mungatana posed.

The debate heated up forcing the minority members on the government side to walk out and thereby forcing an adjournment into the debate two hours ahead of time.

In the meantime, Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti ruled out any possibility of Kenya engaging Uganda in any form of aggression following President Yoweri Museveni’s attacking remarks.

Prof Saitoti insisted that Uganda is a ‘friendly neighbouring country’ despite President Museveni’s remarks against members of the Luo community to whom he described as ‘mad’ in an interview with the BBC on Tuesday while discussing the ownership of the controversial Migingo Island.

“I want to put it on record that Uganda and Kenya remain friendly nations. If there is any little problem I can assure you that that problem can always be sorted out just as much as we are trying to sort it as far as the boundary issue is concerned,” he said.

When pressed by reporters to assure Kenyans living in Migingo Island of maximum security, the Minister said: “Have you heard any casualties? there is absolutely nothing to worry about.”

He declined to respond to President Museveni’s remarks.

“Obviously, what you are trying to do is to ask me whether I should reply to a President of a neighbouring country, I think that is not something any one will want to do,” he said.


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