President Museveni Tuesday said he was looking forward to working more closely with Kenyan president-elect William Ruto.
“Our bilateral cooperation will score tremendous achievements,” Mr Museveni noted.
The two leaders held a phone conversation last night as Mr Museveni, 77, congratulated Ruto, 55, who was amid last minute electoral chaos in the Bomas auditorium- declared winner of an already contested poll.
“I wish to reassure you of Uganda’s commitment to continue partnering with Kenya in advancing regional and continental agenda through the East African Community, African Union and other multilateral platforms,” Mr Museveni said on Twitter.
The Kenya Kwanza frontrunner obtained about 7.18 million (50.49 per cent) of at least 14million ballots to edge out 5-time losing presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s 6.94 million (48.5 per cent) votes.
Odinga’s running mate in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition, Martha Karua, August 15 vowed “it is not over until it is over.’’
On August 16, uncertainty prevailed over Kenya after results announced by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati were rejected by major opposition figures and at least four of seven top commissioners of Kenya’s electoral body.
“We are not at Bomas because we cannot take ownership of the results that are going to be announced,” IEBC vice chairperson Juliana Cherera said on Monday, hours after Odinga’s main election agent Saitabao Ole Kanchory described the main tally centre as a “crime scene.”
But Ruto is set to be sworn in on August 30 if no appeals against his victory are made at the Supreme Court by rival camps not later than August 22.
Kenyans voted August 9 to replace two-term President Uhuru Kenyatta who constitutionally could not run again.
Kenya’s outgoing Deputy President Ruto has on several occasions been seen as President Museveni’s protégé, having enjoyed close ties with him in recent years. Additionally, he has made frequent official and unofficial visits to Uganda.
Subsequently, Mr Museveni who has been in power for 36 years was said to prefer Dr Ruto to Mr Odinga after the Kenyatta administration. In recent interviews prior to the vote, Mr Museveni distanced himself from publicly endorsing a candidate stating that he “would work with whoever Kenyans choose as their leader.”
Being a landlocked country, Uganda depends on Kenya for its imports and the President is keen to have a friendly Head of State.