Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni became the first African leader to congratulate Kenya’s president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta on his successful re-election to serve a second and final term.
Kenyatta garnered over 98% of votes cast in a poll re-run that saw a low turnout partly due to an opposition boycott and violence in opposition strongholds especially in western Kenya.
Museveni tweeted a message hours after the elections body had declared Kenyatta winner of the repeat poll ordered by the Supreme Court on September 1. He said his tweet was in his capacity as chair of the East Africa Community (EAC).
The EAC bloc comprises Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, it also includes Burundi, Kenya and South Sudan. The latest country that applied to join was Somalia.
His tweet read as follows: ‘On behalf of the EAC that I chair, I congratulate H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta upon his re-election as President of Kenya in the recent repeat poll.’
The court cancelled an earlier August 8 process citing irregularities. The opposition coalition, National Super Allaince (NASA) petitioned the court and secured a historic verdict with the first ever annulment of a presidential election in Africa.
They refused to participate in the re-run with the reason that reforms ordered by the court had not been undertaken. Hence the polls were not going to be free and fair let alone credible.
Led by former Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga, NASA insists that political dialogue must take place following which fresh polls must be held in ninety days.
“Our position is to carry out a credible election in 90 days. We told people to stay at home and they heeded our call. The President and his deputy have lost the mandate to speak on behalf of Kenyans. They only speak for themselves,” he was quoted by local news portal Daily Nation.