Kenya Refines Foreign Policy

Just a day after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni left Kigezi region where he had camped for five days, nurse see a new pressure group in support of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has embarked on a task of ‘undoing’ the messages preached by the president.

The Group named UMOJA [Swahili for Unity] has started traversing the same region drumming support for former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.

During the visit, case there President Museveni told residents that he was not about to relinquish power to opponents whom he termed as emishega [wild dogs].

Led by one Robert Kihembe, hospital the Pro-Mbabazi group claims their intention is to see democracy in the ruling NRM party; and are against the idea of the party president standing unopposed in the 2016 general elections.

UMOJA also opposes NRM’s recent constitutional amendments at Namboole, in which the president was handed powers to appoint the party Secretary General and treasurers.

The youths caused a stampede when they arrived in Mbabazi Tshirts
The youths caused a stampede when they arrived in Mbabazi Tshirts

This, they say is tantamount to turning the ruling party into a personal belonging.

Umoja is headed by Chairman Robert Kihembe, who is assisted by his Vice, Pamela Byensi and Isaac Rurihoona as the Secretary General among others.

Kihembe says that even though they have been receiving intimidations from the Kabale RDC, Darius Nandinda and DISO Robert Nabimanya, they are determined and they wouldn’t be moved by the threats.


He claims the group is not funded by anyone by driven by the youths’ great urge to “redeem the ruling NRM, whose leaders have clearly strayed.”

“We are not going to be moved by intimidation from some security officials in the district. All we want is to see democracy prevail in the country.”

UMOJA Vice chairperson Pamela Byensi told Chimpreports that as youths and future managers of the NRM, they would not stand and watch as the party gets mismanaged.

The group on Sunday stormed Kitanga parish in Kabale diocese donning Amama Mbabazi T. shirts with words UMOJA at the back, where the outspoken priest Rev. Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda was holding a fundraising.

Mbabazi reportedly gave out Sh 5 million as well as tycoon James Musinguzi Garuga who as the guest of honor contributed 45 million shillings. 96 million shillings was raised for the renovation of the church that as constructed in 1935.

The dozens of youths caused a stampede when they showed in in Mbabazi’s TShirts.

This coms after Mbabazi, while appearing on of the radio talk show “Orukiiko” on Voice of Kigezi in Kabale town some weeks ago, said that the youths needed to come out and fight for their rights and that no one would do it for them if they didn’t.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched the Kenya Foreign and Diaspora policies with calls to Government institutions to work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make the policies successful.

He said the two policy documents will govern Kenya’s external relations and consolidate contribution of the Kenyan Diaspora to the country’s development.

“While the Foreign Policy document lays out the principles that govern our engagement with the world, clinic the Diaspora Policy will guide us in harnessing the wealth and expertise of Kenyans in the Diaspora to our development efforts, ” he said.

The President spoke Tuesday at Kenyatta International Convention Centre during the historic launch of the first ever published Kenya Foreign and Diaspora policies.

He said the Foreign Policy is pegged on five pillars – economic diplomacy, peace diplomacy, environmental diplomacy, cultural diplomacy and Diaspora diplomacy.

The core of the economic diplomacy pillar, President Kenyatta said, is the search for a robust and sustained economic growth as envisaged by Vision 2030.

“While our economy was recently rebased making the country a middle-income country and the 9th largest economy in Africa, we know that too many of our people remain poor and lack opportunity.  Economic diplomacy will form a critical part of our development push,” he said.

The President said Kenya has redefined its foreign policy to ensure it properly supports robust reciprocal bilateral and multilateral relations in trade, taxation and investment.

President Kenyatta disclosed that the Government will target new economic powers and more traditional economic partners seeking to increase trade and investment relations.

“While we do this, we will be paying special attention to our immediate sub-region and Africa which is the principal orientation of our Foreign Policy,” he said.

Under the peace diplomacy pillar, the President said Kenya will continue to collaborate with other African countries to strengthen the conflict-prevention, management and resolution capacity of regional institutions.

“Moreover, we will continue to work with our partners to eradicate the pressing international threats of terrorism, piracy, money laundering, drug and child trafficking,” the President said.

On the environment, President Kenyatta said Kenya will continue to play a critical role in shaping the global environmental agenda as the host of the United Nations Environment Programme – the first UN agency to be headquartered in the Global South.

He commended the leadership displayed by Kenyan diplomats on the multilateral stage in trade, environment and the post-2015 development agenda negotiations.

Noting that culture plays a role in shaping international relations, the President said   Kenya intends to increase awareness of its cultural richness and generate global interest in the country’s cultural heritage.

“We seek to promote the use and recognition of Kiswahili as a continental and global language,” the President said, “We also believe that our outstanding sportsmen and women and artists are key assets in sharing our culture with the world.”

Given the abundance of skilled, knowledgeable and patriotic Kenyans outside the country, the President said it was essential to integrate the Diaspora into national development agenda.

He appreciated that the country’s efforts to embrace the Diaspora were recognized by the African Union in January 2014, when the Ordinary Session of the Executive Council accepted kenya’s offer to host the African Institute for Remittances (AIR).

“The establishment of the Institute, the first of its kind in the world, will form a cornerstone in harnessing Diaspora resources for social and economic development in Africa,” he said.

The institute was launched in November 2014 and is expected to be fully operational soon.

As part of ensuring that Kenyan Diaspora is fully integrated into national development, President Kenyatta observed that last October Deputy President William Ruto launched the Diaspora Web Portal – an online one-stop shop information facility that provides an avenue for registration of Kenyan Diaspora and a reference for investment and employment opportunities.

Speaking during the occasion, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed outlined key strategies in Kenya’s foreign policy.

With respect to Kenyan Diaspora Policy, the CS said the objective is to improve the welfare of Kenyans abroad and to mainstream their participation in national development.

She observed that in 2013 formal remittances to the country from the Kenyan Diaspora was Kshs 113 billion.

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