Kenya govt rejects United States intervention with opposition - Whisper Eye

Kenya govt rejects United States intervention with opposition

The government has rejected calls to have the United States intervene in the current political standoff pitting it against the opposition.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said there was no need for negotiations since Kenya has successfully gone through its five-year electoral cycle and is now focused on serving her citizens.

He was responding to an article published late last month by former US ambassadors to Kenya Johnnie Carson and Mark Bellamy in which they called for US intervention in Kenya.

“Our response to the authors’ absurd demand for US intervention in Kenya is a loud no, thanks,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“This is a clear demonstration of how preconceived notions and stereotypes about Africa by Western technocrats override any practical experience and knowledge they may have acquired on the continent.

Their knack for getting it wrong on African and Kenyan issues is not only dumbfounding but also a demonstration of why desk research on Africa, with the only source of information being a biased Western media, should be treated with disdain,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s spokesman Manoah Esipisu appeared to confirm that, indeed, that was the position held by the Head of State.

“The PS has spoken and that is his docket. What else do you want us to add?” he asked.

“Publicly shaming the Kenyatta government or threatening sanctions is not the answer. However, the US must make it crystal clear privately that there are limits to what the US can tolerate if it is to maintain its close relationship and that continuing to amass executive power unconstitutionally and flout the rule of law seriously tests those limits,” they said.

The opposition, led by Mr Raila Odinga, maintains that their victory was stolen in the August presidential election and has been calling for electoral reforms with a view to forcing a fresh poll, a position the Jubilee administration has flatly rejected.

Matters have been worsened by Mr Odinga’s decision to swear himself in as “the people’s president” in disregard of warnings from the government and the West.

What followed has been a crackdown on those who facilitated the ceremony, deportation of Mr Miguna Miguna to Canada being the peak of it all.

Mr Kamau Tuesday accused the former envoys of misinforming their readers on the situation in Kenya during and after the General Election.

The fact that Kenya went through the prolonged campaign and electioneering period and emerged peaceful, should be a reason to celebrate the resilience of her democracy, he said.

“They talk of political chaos and possible intercommoned violence and a palpable desire to change this trajectory. They even mourn that attempts by Western governments to appeal for calm are not being heeded. The reader will note how the authors are keen to weave the now familiar narrative of a crumbling African State and the ever-benevolent Western states ready to intervene and sort out ‘another fine mess in Africa’,” he said.

There have been persistent appeals from within and outside the country to have President Kenyatta and Nasa leader Odinga engage after a protracted electioneering period last year that saw Mr Kenyatta’s first win voided by the Supreme Court on account of irregularities and Mr Odinga subsequently boycotting a repeat poll last October.

Mr Kamau’s hard-hitting statement, coming at a time US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected in the country, may be seen as an attempt to pre-empt his agenda with observers in the diplomatic circles pointing out that the senior diplomat could in fact be stating the government’s position regarding the campaign for dialogue.