President Uhuru Kenyatta and African Union Special Envoy Raila Odinga held behind-the-scenes lobbying for the region to accept Felix Tshisekedi’s election as DR Congo president.
It has been established the two hitherto bitter political rivals-turned-friends played key a role in convincing the East African Community as well as SADC to recognise Tshesekedi’s disputed election victory.
President Uhuru and the ODM leader made high-level continental and regional interventions including placing calls to compel heads of state to accept the son of veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi be installed as the next president.
“It is definitely clear that Kenya had interests in the Congolese elections and was keen to have Tshesekedi installed as Congolese President. That was clear even from the delegation led by the President himself,” said a source aware of the Uhuru administration’s activities in Congolese elections.
Earlier, the African Union, had expressed reservations on Congo’s presidential election results and called on the Congolese Electoral Commission to delay announcing the December 30 polls.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC), headed by Zambian President Edgar Lungu, had called for a recount in Congo and proposed that the DRC considers forming a government of national unity.
However, following Uhuru and Raila’s shuttle diplomacy, Tshisekedi was yesterday installed to succeed retired President Joseph Kabila as the Congolese leader.
His election was validated by the courts paving the way for his inauguration.
Kenya had keen interest in the Congolese elections as the East African economic powerhouse aims to make Nairobi a mineral trade hub.
A warm relationship with the mineral rich nation cannot come at a better time, with Uhuru targeting to raise the ties to greater heights. Kabila had long accused Kenya of being the conduit for stolen minerals from his country.
Source: The Star