Uhuru's Deal With Museveni Angers Senators

  • Irate Senators on November 21, expressed their anger at President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to agree to a compromise with Yoweri Museveni of Uganda over the controversial Migingo Island dispute.

    Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma, was appearing before the Senate committee on national security, defence and foreign relations when the issue of the November 20, Memorandum of Understanding signed between Kenya and Uganda came up. 

    According to a report carried by the Daily Nation, the MoU was meant to allow for fishing and access to either side of the boundary by users of the lake from both countries.

    Led by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, Nairobi's Johnson Sakaja, and their Siaya counterpart James Orengo termed the MoU as unconstitutional since, according to them, it indicated the ceding of a Kenyan territory to a foreign state.

    Migingo is a 2,000-square-metre island, in Lake Victoria subject to a territorial dispute between Kenya and Uganda.

    “It is high treason to surrender an inch of our territory to any other sovereign. CS Juma is surrendering Kenya’s sovereignty on Migingo to Uganda in violation of clear constitutional provisions,” Wetangula argued.

    He asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry to shed light on the mechanism of the joint administrations depicted in the MoU and whether it involved participation by the two parliaments and the public.

    “Kenyans should know that these boundaries are shared by communities across the countries and we have to find a way to make them soft,” Juma stated.

    “My message to Kenyans is that we have their interests at the top of our minds and this can be realised by reducing the risks they face in accessing the trans-boundary resources,” she added.

    The senators fingered the govt for quivering on its mandate to protect Kenya's territorial boundaries whenever threatened.

    Following the current maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia, and with South Sudan over the Elemi triangle, the senators accused the govt of being lenient. 

    “Kenya is showing weakness on the Migingo issue,” Orengo remarked.

    Senator James Orengo(left) and Moses Wetangula(right) led the pack in opposing an MoU between Kenya and Uganda on the administration of Migingo.

    Wetangula questioned why the outcome of the joint survey of the boundary, commissioned by former President Mwai Kibaki and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni was never revealed to the public.

    Orengo, a former Lands minister between 2008 and 2013 and a member of the survey team, revealed that colonial maps and all records submitted to the team showed that Migingo was in Kenya.

    Nairobi senator Johnson Sakaja weighed in on the matter stating that the government had dealt with issues of territorial integrity casually, prompting neighbours to want a piece of the country.

    He called upon Uhuru to illustrate his strength as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

    “This is the time that Kenya needs its C-I-C to show up. It should not be recorded that it was during your tenure that Kenya lost its territory,” he argued.