Ford Kenya leader Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula has slammed President Uhuru Kenyatta for failing to stamp Kenya’s authority on Migingo Island.
The Bungoma senator said Migingo was within Kenyan territory but the Jubilee administration has let Ugandan authorities occupy the island illegally.
“As a minister in charge of foreign affairs then, alongside the national security team with our counterparts in Uganda, jointly raised funds to survey the boundary from Kibich Southern Sudan to the border with Tanzania. The problem has been our government that has failed to deploy our police and erect our flag at the island,” Wetangula said in a press statement.
His sentiments come as President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni in Mombasa yesterday. State house had said that the talks will feature Migingo.
“It is actually sad that from the Muhuru Bay shores to Migingo it’s only about 3kilometres, yet Ugandans come with boats from about 200 kilometres and chase our police officers then they erect the Ugandan flag,” he said.
The former foreign affairs minister said the two states jointly surveyed the area and established that Migigo was on the Kenyan side, but blamed the Kenyan authorities for neglecting and failing to protect the area.
Wetangula added that over 90 percent of people residing and doing business in Migingo were Kenyans who should access government services such as transport, security and good health facilities.
“The talks between Uhuru and Museveni over the island should only be geared towards strengthening diplomatic relations between the two nations but the island belongs to Kenya,” he said.
“Uganda is Kenya’s major trading partner and thus the two states must ensure cordial relationship.”
Wetangula also called on the two governments to partner in a bid to expand the Mombasa –Malaba-Kampala highway into a dual carriageway to ease transport and improve the bilateral trade.
He challenged the Kenyan government to reduce various huddles it has imposed on regional trade.
“If Kenya wants to improve its trading relationship with Uganda, they must reduce roadblocks from Mombasa to Malaba, you can get over 90 roadblocks along this route. Two weeks ago I was travelling from Bungoma to Eldoret and I passed over 20 road blocks some within a distance of four kilometres “ He Posed
He said such hurdles have influenced the decision by the Rwandan government to change route and use the Tanzanian Port.