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Museveni’s NRM responds to Junet claims on DP Ruto's aborted trip

POLITICS
By Brian Otieno | August 6th 2021

NRM Secretary General Todwong Richard said remarks by ODM MPs were disrespectful and an insult to President Museveni (centre). [Courtesy]

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) has termed as unfortunate ODM party's outburst on Deputy President William Ruto's aborted trip.

NRM denied claims that it would interfere with Kenya’s internal affairs arguing that remarks by ODM MPs were disrespectful and an insult to President Museveni.

In a letter to Suna East MP Junet Mohamed on alleged shortcomings of NRM, party Secretary General Todwong Richard said they support “promotion of Pan-Africanism and brotherhood”.

“We don’t do this to undermine or to 'capture power’ in any country as you alleged. We neither stop any visitor from entering our country as long as such a visit is not of security risk to our people,” the letter reads in part, making reference to Ruto’s cancelled trip to Uganda on Monday.

"Your unfortunate utterances were indeed out of a possible deep-rooted internal political misunderstanding within your country."

According to Junet, he was served by the representative of the NRM in Kenya, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, a Ruto ally.

In the letter that sounds like a history lesson, NRM’s Secretary-General countered claims of anti-democratic tendencies of which Junet had accused the party, enumerating without evidence, the various successes NRM claims it has achieved in three decades in power.

General Todwong Richard. [Courtesy]

Unlike Wednesday’s letter delivered by a battery of ODM lawmakers at Parliament Building, the NRM’s singled out Junet, who is also ODM’s director of elections.

“We believe that your proclamation does not represent the official position of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in Kenya against the well-established historical ties and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party and the people of Kenya,” read the letter also on NRM’s official social media platforms.

“The NRM record on human rights is not worth borrowing from. The NRM record on democracy is not worth borrowing... even worse, the NRM is a party of lifetime presidency,” Junet had said.

NRM’s letter seemingly gave a blow by blow response to Junet’s claims which it terms “falsehoods”, championing the party’s credentials that have helped them dominate Uganda’s politics.

"The assertion that Kenya doesn't need to borrow from other countries political habits is very correct, and indeed you should never even think of it just like we equally don't. This is because our social, economic and political trajectories are premised on different core values and principle," reads the nine-page letter.

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Curiously, the party did not respond to similar allegations made by ODM chairman John Mbadi, who had claimed that Museveni’s party had not won any democratic election.

“Your statement is an insult to the sovereignty and integrity of Ugandans who always elect their leaders,” the NRM responded to Junet instead.

But in some instances, it seemingly ridiculed Kenya’s past.

“Honourable Member, I hope you recall the post-election violence of 2007/2008 in Kenya and how more than 2,000 innocent Kenyans were lost in only two weeks of the riots with about one million made homeless... such has never happened in Uganda,” stated the letter.

The NRM leader stressed: "We promote and are committed to the East African Treaty that encourages sovereignty of countries and non-interference in the affairs of other countries. We believe you could be having internal issues which we cannot be invited to be part of. No amount of diversionary statements from individuals can make us think otherwise."

Over the years, Uganda has been on the spot by international watchdog bodies over human rights abuses, with election-rigging claims dogging Museveni in subsequent elections.

The current administration has also faced accusations over dictatorial tendencies that have seen opposition figures arrested on several occasions.

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