alexa East African neighbours conspired to lock Kenya from oil pipeline talks - Daily Nation

East African neighbours conspired to lock Kenya from oil pipeline talks

Thursday April 28 2016

Energy CS Charles Keter with Uganda’s Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Ms Irene Muloni, during a meeting in Lamu after touring the proposed Lamu port and pipeline sites. PHOTO | CHARLES KIMANI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Energy CS Charles Keter with Uganda’s Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Ms Irene Muloni, during a meeting in Lamu after touring the proposed Lamu port and pipeline sites. PHOTO | CHARLES KIMANI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
More by this Author

Uganda and Tanzania conspired to deny Kenya a final presentation on the construction of a new regional pipeline before a deal on how to export oil out of the landlocked country was sealed.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter on Wednesday said the Kenyan team was not even allowed to present its case in Kampala last Saturday despite being invited.

Mr Keter said Uganda’s reasons for choosing the Tanzania route were not “valid” as Kenya had solutions to all its concerns.

Uganda had raised security concerns and the cost of construction.

Appearing before the Senate Energy Committee chaired by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, the CS said Tanzania demanded that Kenya be locked out as technical committees from the two countries put pen to paper.

“The Tanzanians said our team was not welcome. We already knew Uganda’s decision so we did not bother so much,” he said.

The two countries’ technical teams met before President Yoweri Museveni announced that a deal had been reached.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli were present when Mr Museveni made the announcement.

Mr Keter also narrated the problems his team faced in trying to convince the Ugandans to change their minds after dumping Kenya despite an earlier agreement.

He said the Tanzanian government blocked the team from reaching Tanga Airport when it went for a survey last month.

Mr Keter said Tanzania’s Energy ministry had left instructions that the Kenyan team should be barred.

Despite the deal slipping through Kenya’s fingers, the CS said the government did not feel slighted but warned it will not allow regional partners to continue taking it for granted.

He said Kenya was now talking to South Sudan and Ethiopia.

“We have been bending over backwards to accommodate our brothers but we will reach a time when we begin looking at our interests first,” he said.