President Yoweri Museveni has received his critic – former Kenya Prime Minister, Mr. Raila Odinga, who paid a courtesy call on him Monday at State House, Entebbe.
Mr. Museveni and his visitor discussed matters related to socio-economic as well as political developments in their respective countries.
Despite Odinga’s criticism of Museveni, the Ugandan president warmly welcomed and held candid discussions with the Kenyan leader who has publicly confessed that he doesn’t trust the Ugandan president.
In his book The Flame of Freedom, Raila Odinga makes clear his mistrust of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
The Ugandan leader had offered to mediate between Mr Odinga and former President Mwai Kibaki in the crisis that followed the controversial 2007 presidential election.
In the book, Mr Odinga says he thought President Museveni could not be trusted to be a neutral arbiter.
President Museveni flew to Kenya at the height of the post-election violence to broker peace, but Mr Odinga was opposed to his involvement in the process.
Rejected by Mr Odinga, the Ugandan leader was forced to return to Kampala even as Kenya burned.
“He (Museveni) had come on his own, but we thought he was conspiring with Kibaki. He had called me prior to leaving Uganda and told me Kibaki had said he could come, asking me if I had any objection, to which I said no,” wrote Mr Odinga.
In fact, Museveni is seen as more allied to William Ruto who is likely to tussle it out with Odinga in the upcoming presidential election.
At yesterday’s meeting the President informed his guest that under the National Resistance Movement Government, Uganda has registered systematic political growth characterized by affirmative action for marginalized groups like the women, youth and the disabled.
“By independence, Uganda had only three women Members of Parliament out of about 90 legislators in the House. When NRM came to power, we had to embrace the politics of equality in favour of gender balance and sowed the seed of affirmative action in all systems.
The country has 117 Districts and all have women representation in Parliament at District level. Today, Parliament has a big representation because of affirmative action. Women have competed with their male counterparts in constituency elections and win massively,” he said.
The President and Mr. Odinga also discussed issues pertaining to boosting agricultural crop production through the application of phosphates that are produced in Tororo to supplement compost and organic manure that is in use in Uganda as the country enjoys favourable climatic conditions of two rain seasons.