Kenyan Vice President, William Samoei Ruto on Sunday said he is a great supporter of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, specifically in regards to his efforts to unite states in the region.
Ruto was speaking at a breakfast meeting with top business owners and CEOs, organised by Africa Strategic Leadership Centre, at Serena hotel in Kampala.
“I am a great supporter of President Museveni because much as he is the president in Uganda, his heart is in the region. His experience is invaluable, as well as his strategic leadership in putting the continent together. The Opportunity we have to harness his wisdom and leadership for consolidating East African Community (EAC) and The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), is one thing that we would be poorer if we didn’t have. ” Ruto said.
“He (Museveni) is very clear on matters East African Community and has provided invaluable leadership. With leaders like him around, I am optimistic even a political federation is possible,” Ruto added.
Ruto campaigned for unity of East African states in trade, infrastructure development as well as Africa at large.
“The reason why Uganda and Kenya are living in the TFTA and EAC is because we have already tasted the benefits on inter-trade. While we have national visions, we have seen here that we have increased trade between our two countries because of opening space for inter- trade, if we can take this to the next level we are in for bigger benefits,” he said.
“As we sit here, how come the EU have put together 27 countries, have a billion people and negotiate as one, how come we find it difficult yet they have bigger states?” Ruto wondered.
According to the Kenyan Vice President, it is important for the East African states to plan for their infrastructure with an aim of opening up a connection and opening up trade borders.
He said that unless states come together to move the continent forward, it would be in vain to play protective to individual poverty yet we have a chance at sharing wealth through inter-trade benefits.
William Ruto was a recipient of the Lifetime achievement award at the Young Achievers awards ceremony, Saturday night. President Yoweri Museveni was among the first recipients of the award.
This is not the first time that Ruto is expressing his support for Museveni. In 2015, Ruto pitched camp in Elgon region of Uganda with president Museveni who was campaigning for presidency for the fourth term against his long time opponent Dr Kizza Besigye.
Ruto while addressing a crowd in Kapchorwa said Museveni had brought peace. “You now live in peace. Young people must be at the forefront to vote for leadership that will guarantee peace and stability.”
Although the youthful Ruto would later dismiss campaigning for President Museveni, saying the “very experienced leader” in Museveni did not require his help.
Meanwhile the two leaders will be launching civil works on the Kapchorwa- Suam road later today.On completion, the road will facilitate trade between Kenya and Uganda