Ugandan president travels by road to Nairobi summit


KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni earlier this week took an extended road trip from the border between Uganda and Kenya to attend the IGAD Summit in Nairobi.

Having travelled earlier to the East of Uganda, where he got the customary enthusiastic welcome, he then went on to meet people before crossing the border by road. The convoy travelled to the Kenyan capital, stopping repeatedly en-route to meet and greet the Kenyan people lined up at the roadside.

The drive took the president over the ‘Mau’ summit and through the scenic rift valley, passing Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita. Talk of promoting domestic and regional tourism between the two countries, demonstrated here at the highest level.

Meanwhile, in meetings between Presidents Kibaki and Museveni it was also agreed to begin the re-construction of the Mombasa – Uganda railway as early as March next year, in order to add capacity and improve delivery times for cargo. Kenya will avail land to the Ugandan government to construct a major rail depot near the Mombasa port, which is aimed to improve handling and loading of cargo destined for Uganda and other African hinterland nations like Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern Congo and Southern Sudan.

A railway extension between Uganda and Southern Sudan’s capital of Juba is also high on the agenda, being of high strategic value for the emerging new country in the region.

In a related development, the president also waded into the ongoing conflict between truck drivers and transport companies and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) while at the border. The transit yard, operated by URA, appears in an appalling state that led to repeated blockages by the drivers who are forced to use it. Ministers are said to have been summoned to the border to inspect the pathetic parking area and act swiftly to avoid the president’s wrath.