A statement from State House Entebbe about President Museveni’s meeting with his Kenyan counterpart Mwai Kibaki did not give much, like the others from President John Kufour of Ghana, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu and Ms Jendayi Frazer, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, on exactly how much commitment they had gotten from their own meeting on a quick end to the blood-letting across Kenya.
Mr Museveni flew to Nairobi not with as much advantage as the others because of what is now being referred to as his “hasty” congratulatory message to Kibaki and rumours that Ugandan soldiers have been helping out on behalf of Kibaki to quell incessant riots that have resulted in over 650 deaths.
But his mission might still offer a lot more hope for Kenya and East Africa than all his predecessors. Here is why: With or without a disputed election, Uganda more than any other East African country needs a stable Kenya whatever the cost of that stability.
Secondly, it is important to note that more than any other country in the region, Uganda has tested the bitter fruits of disputed elections-generated conflict losing anything between 100,000 and 300,000 lives in the post December 1980 elections.
Therefore as Museveni stepped onto the tarmac at the Kenyatta International Airport these facts must have been weighing on his head. He also knew too well the disruption to life in Uganda that was caused by fuel scarcity and spiralling prices and what this means if the situation in Kenya did not improve.
If these factors weighed on Museveni’s mind on Tuesday, then there is hope that he could summon this consciousness to present candid options for both President Kibaki and his main challenger Raila Odinga.
To this we can only trust that Mr Museveni also used his experience in brokering peace in ethnically divided countries like Burundi where Uganda’s role, to prevent another Rwanda cannot be over emphasised.
There is hope!