Thursday, September 28, 2017

Kenyan Diaspora Group in the US Petitions the Trump administration to Intervene on Kenya's Repeat Election stalemate

A Kenyan diaspora lobby group has written to Donald Trump Administration seeking to have the administration pressurize Kenya over the repeat presidential election set for October 26th.
In their petition, Kenya Patriotic Movement (KEPAM) has expressed its worries over the rising tension surrounding the fresh poll following Supreme Court decision that nullified incumbent President Uhuru's August 8th victory.
"As Kenyan Americans under the banner of a lobby group called Kenya Patriotic Movement (KEPAM) (www.kepam254.org ) we are a worried lot about the tension that is piling up in our mother country following the annulment of a Presidential election held on August 8th," their petition reads in part.
It adds: "The ghosts of the post-election violence of 2007/2008 are fresh in our memories. A repeat of the same will completely undermine Kenya’s peace, ruin investor confidence, hurt the tourism sector and even endanger the wellbeing of the diplomatic community in the country,".
The group points out to the significance of Kenya's stability, being home to International bodies and institutions.
"Remember, Kenya is home to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as well as the United Nations centre for human settlement (Habitat). This makes the country the only developing country with a high caliber UN office,".
The group has appealed to Trump's administration through Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to mount pressure on the Kenyan government and the country’s electoral commission (IEBC) to agree and implement minimum reforms before a repeat Presidential election conducted.
" This is the surest way to ensure that the exercise is free, fair and credible,".
The group further puts a reference of the post election skirmishes that rocked the country after the 2007 disputed presidential poll, which they say should be prevented at all costs.
"A stolen election catalyzed massive violence in 2007/2008 which made Kenyans kill each other. The same is likely to happen again if contingency measures are not put in place to avert it,".
They also accuse President Uhuru of beating drums of war following the invalidation of his victory by the apex court early this month.
"The Supreme Court annulled the Presidential election on September 1st where it cited massive irregularities and illegalities. The faction of the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta is beating war drums by accusing the Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of the opposition leader Raila Odinga,".
" The political opposition which won the court petition for the election annulment wants minimum electoral reforms so that there will be a level playing field in the Presidential contest,".
"The current Kenyan government is afraid of reforms since it could have been a beneficiary of the bungled election annulled on September 1st. The electoral body is coerced by the incumbent to let the status quo remain. Regular citizens are afraid," it notes.
"The diplomats fear for their safety. Foreign investors are ambivalent to pursue or increase investment in Kenya. Also, Kenya boarders the volatile Somalia region, which is home to Al-Shabaab terrorist group who may take advantage of the current tension in the country to carry out their evil mission like they have done before,".
"We believe the USA is our big brother in terms of strengthening democratic institutions, advancing Peace and Security and supporting economic development in Kenya. Anything that jeopardizes the rule of law, social justice, peace and tranquility will affect these. In fact, if Kenya is hurt it may affect the US and the larger international community," It concludes.
KEPAM is lobby is officially registered in New Jersey and has close partnership with KEPAM Nairobi.
The Petition can be found here .

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