Friday, February 3, 2017

#Kenya continues to reap big from #Museveni's criminal deception - #Uganda

Uganda's military dictator, Museveni has over the years been desperately endeavoring to secure an East African Community (EAC) political federation so that he becomes its first president.  Besides the presidency, his major stake is to secure for himself and his ruling family a guarantee to hold on power by securing a regional military alliance.  As usual along the way he has manipulated his EAC member states for his selfish interests.
Kenya has suffered most under Museveni's geo-political machinations. It is currently crying foul over what they are terming as Museveni's 'deception and betrayal' in the recently concluded election of the AU Commission Chairperson.  It had fronted its own Amina Mohammed who lost to Chadi's Faki Mahamat and Museveni is alleged to have favoured the later.  In response, Kampala has come out to describe the assertion as baseless.  As the saying goes; "A fly that does not listen to advice follows the corpse to the grave".
Tanzania's cautious, reluctance and suspicion in fast-tracking the political federation earned it the accusation from Museveni of slowing down the integration.  Consequently, in 2013 he set off to manipulate his presumed underdogs, Rwanda and Kenya into entering an unholy alliance dubbed Coalition of the Willing (COWI) comprised of Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya to the exclusion of Tanzania and Burundi. 
COWI went ahead to initiate a raft of infrastructure, telecommunication, defence and tourism projects. It was under COWI that Museveni lured Kenya into signing MOU over the oil pipeline and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). 
Uganda was supposed to transport its crude oil through north-eastern Uganda, northern Kenya to the costal port of Lamu.  Although Uganda and Kenya had signed an MOU in 2009 for the construction of the SGR from Mombasa to Kampala, it was not until in August 2013 under COWI that Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya signed a tripartite agreement for the construction of the SGR from Mombasa-Kampala-Kigali.  The excited Kenya immediately embarked on construction of the SGR from Mombasa to Nairobi and as of now it has been completed and in October 2016 it launched the 2nd phase from Nairobi to Kisumu.  On his part, Uganda which launched the Malaba-Kampala line in October 2014 has not yet commenced construction of the same.

In late 2013 Tanzania invoked Article 7(1) (e) of the EAC Protocol that requires all member states to endorse bilateral and trilateral agreements by individual member states.  The three COWI members went ahead to sign agreements on single custom territory, free movement of people by use of national ID, single tourist visa and political federation.  However, with the coming into office of President Magufuli in Tanzania, Rwanda shifted its focus from the Kampala route to the port of Dar Es Salaam before accusing Museveni of prioritising the rail to Juba instead of Kigali.  It buried its earlier differences with Tanzania under the Kikwete presidency and became the first country to host President Magufuli.
In April 2016, Museveni opportunistically shifted the oil pipeline deal from Kenya to the Tanzanian port of Tanga.  The difference in distance of about 70kms was given as one of the reasons.  The insecurity in northern Kenya and Lamu port being one other reason can be contrasted with Tanga's recent insecurity spillovers owing to its proximity to Mombasa.  The other reason of natural obstacles like Mt. Moroto in north eastern Uganda can also be contrasted with the Usambara ranges that shield Tanga.  The issue of land compensation is understandable because in Tanzania all land is vested in the President as a trustee and there is no freehold system.  The President has powers to revoke private land titles to give way to projects of public or national interest.  You now understand why Museveni is pushing for the law to provide for compulsory acquisition of private land. The truth is that Museveni's shift of the oil pipeline route was driven by his desire to hook and win back Tanzania.
Museveni had always been pushing for the controversial EAC Defence and Security Pact.  It has an intriguing provision that provides for "an attack on one member to be construed as an aggression against all the member states".  Though Tanzania had earlier dodged signing the single defence territory protocol in Bujumbura, in 2012 it signed the same but has never ratified it.  However, in 2014 COWI signed a Defence Pact ostensibly to fight against transnational crime including 'terrorism'.  It provided for an EAC Standby Force to draw forces from Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Eritrea.
This is the pact that was passed by Uganda's parliament this week. For Museveni, it is this force that will crush any armed opposition to his dictatorship thus aims at averting a scenario similar to the recent ECOWAS/Gambia situation.
  #Kenya continues to reap big from #Museveni's criminal deception - #Uganda

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