Special Reports

The Truth: How Kikwete Fell Out With M7, Kagame

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hospital http://chimpreports.com/elections/wp-content/plugins/product-catalog-8/includes/tables.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>A stone-faced Kikwete told the House he was saddened by Uganda, viagra approved http://centristnetblog.com/wp-admin/includes/comment.php Kenya and Rwanda’s efforts to sideline Tanzania even regarding issues discussed at the level of EAC Summit.

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illness geneva;”>“For some time, I have been asking myself: is there a scheme to force Tanzania of out the EAC? Do my brothers from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda hate me personally? Finding answers for these questions has been a hard nut to crack,” said Kikwete in a tense Parliamentary session.

Kikwete wondered how Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya could hold meetings to push forward infrastructural developments such as the railway and oil pipe line that connects the three countries without involving him.

He said the first meeting on the infrastructural projects was held in April 28 in Arusha only for his counterparts to convene another session two months later on the projects’ implementation without his participation.

“This is a clear move to isolate Tanzania. How can we realize a political integration through isolation?” wondered Kikwete.

Where does Tanzania’s heart lie? East or South?


The Tanzanian leader’s eyebrow-raising remarks come at a time when Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and even South Sudan have embarked on ambitious infrastructural projects.

At a recent meeting in Rwanda, Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Salva Kiir, Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenyatta reviewed the progress on implementation of the decisions reached during the 2nd Infrastructure Summit that was held in Mombasa on August 28 to provide direction on deepening regional integration.


They also launched the single customs territory which Kagame said was a “critical milestone that will boost doing business between our countries and contribute to growth of our economies.”

President Museveni said the integration projects were about uniting efforts of East Africans to guarantee their sovereignty.


He also denied the existence of the so-called ‘coalition of the willing,’ saying the projects were aimed at solving the infrastructural bottlenecks hurting economies along the northern corridor.

The leaders are also expected this month to break ground for the standard gauge railway line that will connect Kenya, Kampala, Kigali and Juba.

In Kigali, Kenyatta said the railway line will “make it possible for our people to do business without government being an impediment. This summit gives the impetus to help create jobs and opportunity for our people and create greater prosperity. We are very excited about progress made in a short period of time towards achieving the vision of an integrated East African region.”

Kikwete angry


However, a visibly angry Kikwete told Parliament he was opposed to the fast tracking of the political federation by ignoring crucial integration procedures such as the Monetary Union.

He also defended his country as an “active participant” in the integration processes, adding, Tanzania had played its part.

“Tanzania is an active participant in the integration process and is fulfilling its part of the bargain,” he said.

What went wrong?


Regional observers say Tanzania’s woes started when Kikwete started developing the big-daddy attitude towards his fellow East African leaders.

It should be remembered the Tripartite initiatives were announced at a time when US President Barack Obama was on his Africa tour during which he visited South Africa and Tanzania. Obama refused to visit Kenya over the ICC case hanging over Uhuru.

Kagame, Kikwete, Museveni, Kabila in a meeting in Kampala during the M23 rebellion

It was also surprising that Obama would skip Uganda, a close ally of United States in its so-called global war on terror.

It was also around that time that the newly-elected Chinese President, Xi Jinping, visited Tanzania. Feeling isolated by the US, Kagame, Museveni and Uhuru decided to unite for a cause.


M23

During Obama’s tour, the M23 rebellion in eastern DRC had already split East African leaders. Presidents Museveni, Kagame, Kiir and Kenyatta were supportive of the peace talks in Kampala between the militants and Kinshasha.

The leaders argued that pursuing a military path against M23 would continue to stoke tensions in the region. They also appealed to DRC President, Joseph Kabila, to negotiate with rebels and address their grievances to find a homegrown, political and lasting solution to the crisis in Kivu.


However, it appears Kabila and Kikwete with their South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, would later have separate conversations on crushing the M23 rebellion.

Officials in Kinshasha continued to accuse Uganda and Rwanda of backing the rebels across the border.

This was not all. Kikwete went ahead to expel thousands of Rwandans and even Ugandans from the northern parts of Tanzania.

The expulsions compelled some observers to suspect that perhaps Kikwete had deliberately severed relations with Rwanda and Uganda.

Expelling Rwandans and Ugandans from Tanzania confirmed fears that Kikwete’s heart was no longer in the East but South. The schmoozing between Kikwete, Zuma and Kabila of the South African Development Community (SADC) further undermined the ICGLR’s role in solving regional conflicts.

It is widely believed that Obama and Jinping’s Tanzania trip made Kikwete feel he would influence the course of events in the region. The struggle for dominance in the region is also partly to blame for Kikwete’s fallout with his East African counterparts.

FDLR


It is also whispered in diplomatic circles that Kikwete is a supporter of the FDLR, a DRC-based militia that derives some of its combatants and leadership from perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.

This was confirmed when he told a gathering on the sidelines of the African Union Summit this year that Rwanda should hold peace talks with the FDLR.

Kikwete said, “ADF is attacking Uganda and FDRL is doing the same to Rwanda so efforts should be made to end such attacks. Talks should be held between governments and rebels hiding in the DRC where they launch attacks against their countries of origin. Military operations against the rebels will not yield fruit.”

Genocide survivors, whose parents and relatives were slaughtered by the Hutu militia group in the 1994 genocide, accused Kikwete of being revisionist and supporter of “a wider plan to exterminate us once and for all.”

Kikwete and Kagame in a recent meeting in Kampala

“In making his negationist statement, President Kikwete has not only dishonored Nyerere’s Vision but also dehumanized the Tanzanian peoples as unconditional accomplices to his genocide denial and revisionist comments.”

Kagame also attacked Kikwete, saying “speaking casually and calling on us to negotiate with the killers of our people is utter nonsense.”

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 45 army officers at the Rwanda Defence Forces Staff and Command College on Monday, the President described Kikwete’s idea as dancing on the “mass graves of our people.”

Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister had earlier described Kikwete’s statements as “aberrant” and “shocking.”

“Those who think that Rwanda today should sit down at the negotiating table with FDLR simply don’t know what they are talking about,” charged Mushikiwabo in an interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI) last week.

Zuma

It is also important to note Zuma has personal issues with Kagame. He gave refugee to Rwanda’s exiled army officials, Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegeya. South Africa is also a base for their activities aimed at removing Kagame from power.

Zuma also believes Rwanda had a hand in an attempted assassination of Kayumba in 2010, a charge Kigali denies.

EAC intervenes

Meanwhile, EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera says Burundi and Tanzania have made public their concerns regarding the meetings held by Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda during a number of meetings at Heads of State level.

Sezibera adds that he has consulted the five Partner States on this state of affairs.

“On the sidelines of the 19th Sectoral Council of Ministers Responsible for East African Community Affairs, the Ministers in the spirit of consolidating and strengthening East African Integration have exchanged on progress occasioned by the meetings mentioned above as well as the challenges that have arisen,” notes Sezibera.

“East Africans are urged not to be unduly alarmed because the challenges are being addressed and will be further considered by the Council of Ministers at its 28th Meeting scheduled for 28th November 2013 and make recommendations to the Summit.”

He reiterates partner States committed themselves to implement the Protocols on the Common Market and the Customs Union, and in particular laying the requisite infrastructure, and removal of barriers to the free movement of goods, services and people.

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