Friday, January 25, 2008

Ugandan army uniforms found in Kenya

Tension was high at the Malaba border after residents impounded a lorry full of Ugandan military uniforms. The residents stopped the lorry, registration number KAV 018T, headed to the customs department and demanded to view its contents. The besieged driver pleaded with the residents to let him pass as rowdy youths threatened to lynch him. The angry mob was in the process of setting the lorry ablaze when riot police arrived.

Amid shouts of, "Open it, open it!" the residents almost overpowered the police, prompting Teso OCPD, Joseph Kiget, to order the driver to open up the cargo. Councillor Chrisantus Kipala, of Malaba Central Ward, and a few other people boarded the lorry to verify the items as residents cheered and broke into songs. Pairs of Ugandan military uniforms and caps with State emblems were fished out of the boxes.

"Now you can relax because you have seen what the lorry is carrying. You can now let the driver proceed with his journey," the OCPD told the crowd. The residents have vowed to keep vigil at the border and are demanding an explanation from the Government about the Ugandan military uniforms. Kenyan customs officials at the border declined to talk to journalists regarding the matter. Ugandan security officials who had crossed the border to receive the consignment disappeared on realising the arrival of a KTN camera crew.

Tension has been high in western Kenya following rumours that Ugandan soldiers are in the country. The soldiers were said to have headed to Nyanza, Western and Rift Valley provinces, where violence broke out after President Kibaki declared himself the winner in last year’s discredited General Election. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has gone on record saying he did not help President Kibaki in his controversial re-election. The Ugandan Electoral Commission of Kenya also denied having played a part in the tallying of presidential results. Museveni, on the other hand, attributed the post-election violence to the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

Museveni is in Kenya as part of a mediation team.

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