16 February 2017

Uganda: Border MP Claims Ugandans Being Registered for Kenya's Polls

Photo: The Nation Media Group
Samia Bugwe North MP, Gideon Onyango, claims that Ugandans are being registered to take part in Kenya's polls.

Kampala — A Ugandan Member of Parliament (MP) has claimed many Ugandans are being registered to vote in Kenya's August 8 General Election.

Samia Bugwe North MP, Gideon Onyango, claimed it is mainly those residing in districts bordering Kenya who are being registered.

"Enrolment of Ugandans into the Kenyan voter register is massive. This is happening in Busia. My question to the Prime Minister is, 'Is our [Uganda's] government aware?', Mr Onyango posed during the Prime Minister's Question Time at Parliament on Wednesday, February 15.

The Deputy Speaker of Uganda's Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, 'stopped' the Prime Minister, Rukahana Rugunda, from responding to the question.

"Some of those matters touch on foreign relations. We cannot competently raise them in the form you are raising them," Mr Oulanyah said.

Charges that many Ugandans are being registered to vote in Kenya's August 8 polls have been swirling in Nairobi, Kenya since late January.

One of Kenya's Opposition leaders, Raila Odinga, started it when he said Kenya's National Intelligence Service (NIS) is orchestrating the recruitment to boost Uhuru Kenyatta's chances of re-election.

NIS is yet to respond to the claims.

But President Kenyatta has since refuted the claim.

He said the claim, Mr Odinga, 'started', is an excuse Mr Odinga intends to use in case Mr Kenyatta beats him at the polls to reject the results.

A fortnight ago, the Monitor's sister paper, the Nation, reported that Ms Mary Emaase, a Kenyan MP, was in Buteba Sub-County in Busia Uganda - 'campaigning and recruiting voters'.

She reportedly quickly returned to Kenya when she learnt that Ugandan police was about to arrest her.

Her bodyguard though was arrested by the police before he could slip back to Kenya.

Claims of Ugandans involvement in Kenya's politics also came up during Kenya's 2007 General Election.

Then, it was claimed by Kenya's political opposition, that Uganda's army was being used by Mr Mwai Kibaki's government to kill Mr Odinga's supporters in Kisumu, western Kenya.

Meanwhile, Kasilo MP, Elijah Okupa, has asked the government to clear the air about claims that Uganda betrayed Kenya during the just concluded African Union chair elections.

Kenya, which had fielded its Foreign Cabinet Secretary Amina Abdalla for the chair's seat, was counting on the support of among other countries, Uganda.

Ms Abdalla lost to Chad's Foreign Minister, Moussa Faki.

She later accused Kenya's neighbours of betrayal and had even called for retaliation.

During yesterdays' plenary, Mr Okupa posed, "Did Uganda betray her neighbour?"

Dr. Rugunda replied, "Uganda performed well in regard to her regional obligations to support the candidate that Kenya presented and at the end of the day Uganda performed well to ensure African interests became supreme."


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