Could Raila Odinga’s Statement Hold A lot Of Water?

"You Can't Compare Kenya To Uganda"

Kenya is Uganda’s neighbour on the eastern side, Kenya attained independence from the British on December 12, 1963, a year after Uganda attained its independence on October 09, 1962.

Had the political administration style between the two countries gone according to the sequence of self political determination and sovereignty, Uganda, should have been ahead of Kenya.

However, Uganda is a laughing stock among the now 7 countries in the east African community with the recent entry of DRC fully considered.

You Can’t Compare Kenya To Uganda- Raila Odinga.

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While campaigning for presidency in Kenya, Raila unequivocally stated that you “can’t compare Kenya to  the worst” mentioning Somalia, Uganda and Ethiopia among his category of the “worst”.

But why would Raila and perhaps many others harbour these sentiments?

The answer should be because:

Uganda is the only East African country that hasn’t witnessed peaceful change of political power since independence.

Uganda, in the seventies bred  one of Africa’s tyrannical presidents in the name of Idi Amin, Kenya has never bred a president of this character.

Uganda has witnessed coups and fatal upheavals to usher in change of political governance, yet Kenya has gone through peaceful change of power save for the infamous aftermath 2007 conflict were several people died.

Uganda since the ascendency to power of its current president Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni, in 1986, has had two fundamental constitutional changes to serve Yoweri Museveni’s avarice for power. One in 2005 to remove presidential term limits and another in 2017 to remove age limit. Kenyan leaders have coherently adhered to what their constitution stipulates to the extent that, even Kenyan outgoing president Kenyatta, picking a lesson from what transpired in 2007, honoured his pledge to let go after 10 years and pave way for Raila Odinga to vie for the coveted seat.

Unlike Uganda where under Museveni, elections are a a do or die affair, where gaging opposition contenders from freely canvassing for votes, imprisoning, intimidating them, and killing many of their supporters during campaigns by misusing state police and the army, Kenya allows free and fair political competition.

In one of the most fundamental contrasts between Kenya and Uganda, Kenyan supreme court nullified sitting president Kenyatta’s re-election for the second term!. To Uganda, this is akin to blasphemy bearing in mind the 5 times in 25 years where the same president Tibuhaburwa Museveni has been taken to court and the court, merely rubber stamps Tibuhaburwa stolen victories.

No Kenyan Presidential candidate has ever been nominated in absentia while being remanded for a framed case of rape just as it was in Uganda in 2006.

It is only in Uganda, but not in Kenya, where opposition presidential contenders against the sitting 36 years Tibuhaburwa Museveni presidency are subjected to humiliation of torture and incarceration of their supporters and polling agents, on the eve of polling date or a few days before and after elections.

It’s only in Uganda but not Kenya, where a sitting president has pledged to follow what the constitution stipulates only to turn around and tinker with it at will to advance life presidency.

It’s only in Uganda not in Kenya, where the president, being commander in chief of the country’s defence forces, commands the army to raid the country’s parliament, to beat up and main any members of Parliament who are opposed to lifting age limit clause from the constitution.

It’s only in Uganda but not Kenya, where a sitting president has on countless times reneged on his promises to hand over power.

Salient Contrasts On How Kenya Handles Elections As Compared to Barbaric Ugandan Way.

1. There are no soldiers or police men in sight anywhere
2. They have a bigger population and much bigger country but have only 270 MPs as opposed to Uganda’s 529 members
3. The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) of Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga, which would have greatly increased the size of parliament was rejected by the court. (that’s democracy)
4. There are no arbitrary arrests or kidnappings of opposition candidates or their agents.
5. There is no kibooko or intimidation by army officers
6. The incumbent president isn’t a candidate
7. The internet or mobile money services aren’t terminated or interrupted
8. Opposition candidates have been free to campaign on all radio stations without rejection by “orders from above.”
9. There is no reported death of any individual due to election violence
10. Even for campaign purposes, the campaign agents of Odinga supported by President Uhuru, had to request in writing for permission to use certain facilities eg Karasani stadium. Initially they had been refused permit due to national prayers scheduled on the same date as campaigns for the president had to change dates for his campaign efforts in favour of Odinga.
11. All candidates   free to use vans, aeroplanes and choppers for campaign purposes. Compare with Uganda where even a mere armoured vehicle (of Bobi Wine) was confiscated until after elections.
12. Kenya has built a democracy which Uganda will take decades to emulate.

These and a whole book chronicling the mischievousness of Uganda’s breed of leaders, are reasons that may arguably lead to Odinga’s assertion, that Kenya can’t be in any way compared to an outcast Uganda.!

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Chris Kato

Uganda Today is a source of analytical, hard and entertaining news for audiences of all categories in Uganda and internationally. Uganda Today cut its teeth in Ugandan media industry with its print copies hitting the streets in October 2014. We are heavily indebted to all our publics and stakeholders who support our cause in one way or the other. To comment on our stories, or share any news or pertinent information, please follow us on: Facebook: Uganda Today Twitter: @ugtodaynews WhatsApp:+256 702 239 337 Email: Website:

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