Unplanned Encounter? Raila Narrates Events Leading to Ruto-Museveni Meeting

February 29, 2024

Opposition leader Raila Odinga indicated that meeting President William Ruto in Uganda on Monday was a chance encounter.

This comes after pictures of Ruto and Odinga engaging in a discussion with President Museveni at the Uganda leader’s farm in Kisozi, Gomba District, sparked political discussions in the two countries.

On Wednesday, February 28, 2024, Raila explained that Ruto was in Uganda to discuss oil issues with Museveni, while he (Raila) was there to seek Museveni’s support for his bid for the African Union (AU) Commission chairmanship.

For context, Ruto and Museveni have had a tense relationship due to an oil trade dispute between Kenya and Uganda.

Sources suggest that Ruto sought Odinga’s intervention to ‘soften the ground’ and address the brewing diplomatic tension regarding the government-to-government oil deal that denied Uganda’s national oil company access to Kenya’s oil pipeline.

Inside Raila-Ruto meeting with Museveni

Yesterday, Raila disclosed that he went to Uganda from Namibia where he had met several African leaders and lobbied for support.

“I have been running around trying to get support from different heads of states. I was with some in Namibia and I went to the President of Uganda after I had talked to him to go and ask for his support and then we met there with Mr Ruto who had also gone there to talk about the issues they are having on oil the G to G, with his minister for energy,” he said.

The former Prime Minister mentioned that, following discussions about his AU Commission candidature, the two leaders agreed to support him.

“After we talked about my candidature, they talked about the issue of oil among themselves but I asked for their support and both of them agreed that they would support me. President Museveni said he will be the one to propose me as the Chair of African Union Commission and I said thank you,” said Raila.

Raila’s Promise to Kenyans

Speaking at the Homa Bay International Investment Conference, Odinga also assured his supporters that winning the African Union Commission (AUC) post would not imply that he won’t be there for Kenyans.

“Let me respond to some issues and fears being raised, I am not going anywhere, I am around. I have been running around trying to get support from different heads of state,” Raila said.

“I am not going away. Addis Ababa is only two hours away from Nairobi. I am available, whenever I am called I will answer. I am ready to work with you people. We must ensure what we set out to do is eventually achieved.”

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