President Uhuru Kenyatta despite being the only sitting president in the World to show up in DR Congo for Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi’s swearing in yesterday in Kinshasa- sat calmly knowing his presence had sealed a deal.
He was accompanied by his hitherto ‘brother’ ODM leader Raila Odinga and a section of leaders from across the divide.
The delegation also included Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Minority Chief whip Junet Mohamed, Homa bay women Rep Gladys Wanga, Narok Senator Ledama Olekina, Busia Senator Amos Wako, Murang’a’s Irungu Kangata and Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire.
It has now emerged that while foreign Countries like Belgium, France; the African Union (AU), the The Southern African Development Community (SADC) all rejected Tshisekedi’s victory, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila in his capacity as African Union Special Envoy held behind-the-scenes lobbying for the region to accept Felix Tshisekedi’s election as Congo president.
The two hitherto bitter political rivals-turned-friends played key a role in convincing the East African Community as well as SADC to recognize Tshesekedi’s disputed election victory.
Uhuru and the ODM leader made high-level continental and regional interventions including placing calls to compel heads of state to accept the son of veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi be installed as the next president, according to the Star.
“It is definitely clear that Kenya had interests in the Congolese elections and was keen to have Tshesekedi installed as Congolese President. That was clear even from the delegation led by the President himself,” a source privy to the details divulged.
The African Union, had expressed its reservations and called on the Congolese Electoral Commission to delay announcing the December 30 polls.
SADC, headed by Zambian President Edgar Lungu, had called for a recount in Congo and proposed that the DRC considers forming a government of national unity. Tshisekedi and the aggrieved rival Martin Fayulu were in the same pact that had settled on Fayulu as the Presidential Candidate before Tshisekedi ditched the Opposition outfit last minute and declared his candidature while in Nairobi after holding a lengthy private meeting with Raila.
Now, following Uhuru and Raila’s shuttle diplomacy, Tshisekedi was yesterday installed to succeed retired President Joseph Kabila as the Congolese leader.
Kenya had keen interest in the Congolese elections as the East African economic powerhouse aims to make Nairobi a mineral trade hub.
While the outgoing Kabila was ‘hostile’ and had long accused Kenya of being the conduit for stolen minerals from his country- Tshisekedi who is a personal friend to Raila offers Kenya a warm relationship with the mineral rich nation especially at a time when Uhuru is targeting to raise the ties to greater heights.
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