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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba


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Kampala In African tradition, other wives would gripe or hate relatives or neighbours of a polygamous man if they hobnobbed only with the first wife. Today, top Kenyan politicians, among them Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, are in this catch-22 situation having exalted President Museveni during visits to Uganda where they made no mention of opposition parties. “Mr Museveni has done the job [of Head of State] very well and that is why I came to show solidarity,” Mr Musyoka told Saturday Monitor in an interview on Friday as he exited the country. It’s a year of general elections here and some 13.9 million registered voters go to the polls on February 18, barely five weeks away. The campaigns have now gone to the wire as each of the eight presidential candidates, including Mr Museveni, who is seeking to extend his uninterrupted rule to 30 years, are courting whichever voter, regional or international ally. Relationship with Rwanda During the 2001 and 2006 presidential elections, unproven allegations that Rwanda government supported Dr Kizza Besigye, the present joint Inter-Party Cooperation flag bearer, put diplomatic relations between Kigali and Kampala on the ice. It, ironically, was not officially distasteful for Ms Rebecca, the widow of SPLM/A leader John Garang, to canvass votes for Mr Museveni in 2006. Such is the contradiction, and sometimes fury, that prominent Kenyans, in whose country Mr Museveni is highly rated in contrast to his jinxed domestic scorecard, have courted controversy by stepping into the murky political waters of Kampala. Prime Minister Raila Odinga previously joined the Ugandan leader on a campaign trail in the country’s eastern Busoga region; Mr Musyoka weighed in mid-week while Mr Museveni was canvassing votes in the West. In November, now suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto attended the launch of NRM’s campaign manifesto in Kampala, ostensibly as a friend of the party and Mr Museveni.