President Uhuru Kenyatta has for the first time reacted to Uganda’s decision of abandoning the Kenyan pipeline route for Tanzania.
Speaking to journalists on Monday after concluding his three-day trip in Belgium, President Kenyatta said he was disappointed by the Ugandan government for going against a deal sealed by the two states.
Uganda had agreed to build a pipeline through Kenya to the port of Lamu for exportation of its oil but later chose to use the Tanzanian route, citing land problems in Kenya.
“When it comes to the pipeline, yes indeed we were disappointed because we thought we needed to do this as a regional project,” said Kenyatta.
The Head of State said that Kenya and Uganda had settled on using the Kenyan route as it would have been more economical compared to using the Port of Tanga in Tanzania, adding that he could not understand the last-minute change of mind.
“Our Ugandan counterparts thought that their best interests for whatever reasons might best be served by going to the Port of Tanga that equally is their right. I thought and it was Kenya’s position that it would have been more economical if we were to do it together following the North route which is through the Port of Lamu,” Kenyatta explained.
He admitted that sometimes uneasy relationship is experienced but that should not be the reason to cause divisions.
“I know we have problems that or that person is doing this or that, let us open up countries take sometimes decisions that we all don’t fully understand, right, but I don’t think that should be taken away from them; I don’t think that is something that we should take away from them because ultimately I think they will come back together,” added Kenyatta.
The President also mentioned that following Uganda’s decision, his hands were tied and there was nothing he could do but wait for another deal to crop up.
Kenyatta asserted that he did not harbour any bitterness toward Tanzania or Uganda as his desire was always to see the region moving forward.