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Border MP claims Ugandans being registered for Kenya’s polls

A Ugandan member of parliament (MP) has claimed many Ugandans are being registered to vote in Kenya’s August 8 elections.

Samia Bugwe North MP Gideon Onyango claimed most of those being registered reside in districts bordering Kenya.

“Enrolment of Ugandans into the Kenyan voter register is massive. This is happening in Busia.

“My question to the prime minister is, ‘Is our [Uganda’s] government aware?’, Mr Onyango posed during the Prime Minister’s Question Time in Parliament on Wednesday.

The deputy speaker of Uganda’s parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, “stopped” Prime Minister Rukahana Rugunda from responding to the question.

“Some of those matters touch on foreign relations. We cannot competently raise them in the form you are raising them,” Mr Oulanyah said.

Charges that many Ugandans are being registered to vote in Kenya’s August 8 polls have been swirling in Nairobi since late January.

READ: Uhuru hits out at Raila over foreign voters claim

Kenyan Opposition leader Raila Odinga started it when he said Kenya’s National Intelligence Service is orchestrating the recruitment to boost President Uhuru Kenyatta’s chances of re-election.

The NIS is yet to respond to the claims.

MP ARRESTED

But President Kenyatta has since rejected the claims.

He said the allegations are an excuse Mr Odinga intends to use to reject the results if Mr Kenyatta beats him at the polls.

A fortnight ago, the Monitor’s sister paper, the Nation, reported that Kenyan MP Mary Emaase was in Buteba Sub-County in Busia, Uganda, “campaigning and recruiting voters”.

READ: Uganda police say Kenyan MP found recruiting voters

She reportedly quickly returned to Kenya when she learnt that Ugandan police were about to arrest her.

But her bodyguard was arrested before he could slip back to Kenya.

Claims of Ugandans being registered to vote in Kenyan elections also came up during Kenya’s 2007 General Election.

Then, it was claimed by Kenya’s political opposition that Uganda’s army was being used by President Mwai Kibaki’s government to kill Mr Odinga’s supporters in Kisumu.

Meanwhile, Kasilo MP Elijah Okupa has asked the government to clear the air about claims that Uganda betrayed Kenya during the just concluded elections for African Union Commission chairperson.

BETRAYAL

Kenya, which had fielded its Foreign Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for the seat, was counting on the support of Uganda, among other countries.

Ms Mohamed lost to Chad’s foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat.

She later accused Kenya’s neighbours of betrayal.

During yesterdays’ plenary, Mr Okupa posed, “Did Uganda betray her neighbour?”

Dr Rugunda replied, “Uganda performed well in regard to her regional obligations to support the candidate that Kenya presented and at the end of the day Uganda performed well to ensure African interests became supreme.”

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