When reports first indicated that PM Raila Odinga was in Uganda at the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni, Kenyaâ€™s state house hurriedly organized a media briefing where the presidentâ€™s spokesperson Manoah Esipisu claimed Kenyaâ€™s bilateral relationship with Tanzania was â€˜in good shapeâ€™ hence did not need mediation.
â€œThere have been some voices for mediation but the very crystal clear point is that there is no dispute to mediate,â€ said Esipisu during a media briefing at State House.
The State House stance clearly contradicts that of the Uganda presidency which invited Odinga for a three-hour meeting over the stalemate in the East Africa Community.
Odinga had last week called on the heads of states of the EAC to involve a panel of distinguished statesmen in the region to thaw the relationship between member states of the EAC with the aim of resolving the Tanzania crisis.
Tanzania, through government ministers and the president has in the recent past cast doubts over the countryâ€™s future commitments with the regional economic and political bloc.
At the Entebbe meeting between President Museveni and Mr Odinga, the Ugandan leader is reported to have shared in the concerns of the former premier that a split in the EAC would have serious ramifications on the regionâ€™s economies, especially Kenya and Uganda.
Museveni, said to be eying the first presidency of an expanded East Africa political federation, asked Mr Odinga to seek audience with the other EAC leaders, a stark contrast to the position taken by Kenyaâ€™s State House.
According to Esipisu, President Kenyatta met and held bilateral talks recently with his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete hence there was â€˜no need for mediation. However, the South Africa meeting cannot explain why Kikwete later â€˜bitterlyâ€™ addressed his countryâ€™s parliament where he added to the accusations that his country was being sidelined by the â€˜coalition of the willingâ€™.
The Odinga-Museveni meeting comes on the eve of the planned EAC Summit in Kampala at the end of the month where it is widely expected that EAC will finally endorse a single monetary protocol for the region.