- East Africa
Uganda: President denies campaign help from Kenya
President Yoweri Museveni who is also the Presidential Candidate of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has hit back at opposition critics who claimed that Kenyan leaders have been to Uganda to campaign for him.
Although Kenyan Prime minister Raila Odinga and other Kenyan ministers recently appeared at Museveni’s campaign rallies, Ugandan President Museveni has claimed that “none of these visitors campaigned for me".
"In any case, I don’t need any one to campaign for me. I have been beating the opposition without anyone campaigning for me," the ruling party’s presidential candidate asserted.
According to Museveni, the Kenyan leaders were in Uganda on official visit. He however explained that "since they came during the campaigns, they found me there and only waved to the people. They said they did not want to get involved but did say that they want to show solidarity with our people.”
Several Kenyan leaders including Vice President Musyoka, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Head of State Arap Moi have all been in Uganda on State visits at a time when political parties in the eastern African country are busily campaigning ahead of February 18 presidential elections.
Oppsition politicians attacked Museveni over the Kenyan politicians’ visits and appearances at his campaigns saying that the president had run short of ideas and hence requested for their help.
Museveni has also denied allegations by the opposition that his party was bribing people to join the ruling party, NRM.
“We don’t bribe anyone. We will not bribe, can’t bribe and have no reason to bribe anybody (...) We meet people and talk to them and convince them to cross to the NRM. We do not bribe,” he said.
8 candidates are vying for the presidential seat in Uganda including Museveni who has been in power for over 20 years. His key rival is his former physician retired colonel Dr Kiiza Besigye.