Did Uhuru Kenyatta secretly cede Migingo Island to Uganda?
11 March 2016, 15:40
Nairobi - Opposition legislators have given President Uhuru Kenyatta two days to tell Kenyans whether the controversial Migingo Island is part of the country or it belongs to Uganda.
The MPs led by ODM Secretary of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi Thursday said the the President must make the announcement because he has kept quiet even after two clerks registering voters on the Island were arrested by Ugandan authorities.
Two Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) clerks were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly trespassing into the nearby country, as they registered voters in the disputed island.
They were later released and ordered to leave Migingo but the officers confiscated the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits they were using in the exercise that is ongoing countrywide.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Ugunja lawmaker who was accompanied by MPs Fred Outa (Nyando), Aduma Owuor (Nyakach) James Nyikal (Seme), Silvance Osele (Kasipul Kabondo) said Kenyans deserve to know the truth.
"For our officials to be arrested by Ugandan authorities in their own country is an assault on the sovereignty of nation. It is unacceptable. The silence of the President and the executive after the aggression leaves a lot to be desired," said Wandayi.
"If such an incident occurred in another country, the head of state would have come out vocally to defend his territory. The Jubilee administration should set the record straight in 48 hours whether the island is part of the country or it was annexed to Uganda," he said.
Read Also: IEBC clerks arrested, equipment confiscated by Ugandan police
Wandayi who referred to the controversial sugar deals President Kenyatta signed with his Ugandan counterpart last year, pointed out that the regions residents deserve to know whether the strip of land was annexed to the country as part of the bilateral agreement.
"President Kenyatta seemingly has abdicated the responsibility of protecting Kenya's territory and we wonder if he agreed to cede the island to Uganda during his state visit last year. We need answers from him," emphasized the MP.
Outa said the harassment of the IEBC officials on the island that is part of the country threatens the rights of Kenyans, and wondered if there is a conspiracy by the Jubilee government to disfranchise votes in the region.
"Jubilee must be scared of the might of the opposition and has now resorted to using intruders to ensure that few people are registered in the region, which is an opposition stronghold," said Outa.
"The Primary responsibility of a president as the commander in chief of the armed forces is to ensure the country's borders are secure and citizens are safe. This incident cannot be taken lightly as elections process start with voter listing, unless there is something we are not being told," said Osele.
Nyikal on his part pointed out that the withdrawal of the IEBC officers from the island which is part of the country after the aggression is in itself an admission the country has ceded ground.
"The response we expected is reinforcement of the security forces at Migingo. Withdrawal and stopping the registration process in international relations shows that Kenya is conceding that the island is in Uganda," he explained.
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