Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The US is biased on the Kenyan political crisis!

Many Kenyans are wondering why the United States, the most powerful nation in the world has become a renegade on democratic tenets in the developing World.

Where was the US when Kenya’s electoral body bungled the August election which was later nullified by the Supreme court? How come US failed to raise a finger when an ICT Manager in the electoral body was murdered with clear intentions of rigging the August election?

Has the Trump government through current envoy Robert Godec condemned the Kenyan police for killing over 250 peaceful demonstrators in the 4 months post-election fiasco?

Is urging the aggrieved political opposition NASA, led Raila Odinga, by the US to scale down its quest for electoral justice a reflection of democracy or a sign of perpetuating the status quo; hence dictatorship?

Why is the US always a Johnny-come-lately on African crisises even when human life is under threat?  The Clinton administration procrastinated during the Rwandan crisis where genocide was committed; culminating to the slaying of almost a million people in 1994.

As a concerned Kenyan, I could like to urge the Trump’s administration to censure the role of his ambassador in Nairobi. Mr. Godec is said to be the most biased US diplomat Kenyans have ever seen. The envoy has not done enough to ensure neutrality when dealing with the current government and the political opposition.

Majority of Kenyans citizens want electoral justice. The US which is perceived to be a respecter of democracy, justice and human rights must lead by example. Siding with the current Kenyan government which has committed many atrocities towards own citizens may not only jeopardize the US’s respect in Africa but also on the global stage.

The silence by the United States when innocent Kenyans as young as 6 months old have been killed in cold blood by the Kenyan police is perplexing.

Kenyan citizens expected Western powers beginning with the US to pile more pressure on the current government of President Uhuru Kenyatta to cede the ground; come to the negotiation table and discuss electoral justice.

Holding democratic elections is the surest cure through a multipartite agreement between the NASA coalition, the ruling Jubilee coalition and other relevant stakeholders.

One wonders why the Republican administration in the US has become extremely ambivalent to the plight of Kenyans in their quest for self-determination.

It can be remembered that during the struggle for multiparty democracy in Kenya, it was a US ambassador, the late Smith Hempstone, a Republican who teamed up with other European ambassadors like Germany’s Bernd Mutzelburg, the Kenyan civil society and the Church to put pressure on retired President Daniel Moi to restore multi-party system in 1991.  

Why is the US diplomat in Nairobi and other European counterparts not ready to do what their predecessors did more than 2 decades ago to help the Kenyan people?

Indeed, Kenyans have concluded that Western powers are openly siding with a regime which does not respect human rights if what the current government of Uhuru is doing to the citizens is something to go by.

Kenyan voters are determined to get it right this time round. They have not forgotten how a stolen election in 2007 almost brought the country to its knees through ethnic killings, displacement of persons and destruction of property.

In fact, in the same year, Jendayi Frazer, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President George Walker Bush, had to fly to Nairobi to advocate for a power sharing deal between retired President Kibaki and his opponent Raila Odinga.

Is history repeating itself that 10 years later, under President Trump a Republican, that a diplomat with a similar portfolio to Ms Frazer, Donald Yamamoto, has been sent to Nairobi to initiate political negotiations between the two opposing political camps?

I wonder why the US is now urging the aggrieved NASA coalition to scale down its quest for electoral justice when the country’s chief diplomat in Nairobi knows that the August election whose Presidential results were annulled by the Supreme Court were compounded with illegalities and irregularities.

The repeat of the same election conducted in October 26th was boycotted by the NASA coalition and was way worse than that of August. This time round, the Supreme Court upheld the incumbent Uhuru’s victory after facing threats and intimidations from the current government.

It should be remembered that the NASA coalition raised serious concerns before the US government and some European countries about lack of preparedness by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the government of President Kenyatta, to offer a free and fair election.

The United States being a major actor in global democracy, justice and the rule of law must get it right for Kenya this time round…Circumstances have changed! What the global superpower advocated in 2007 during the post-election violence to unravel the political impasse cannot work 10 years later.

The desire of Kenyans is a free and fair elections. Kenyans want their votes to count because they are tired of quick fixes like what Secretary Yamamoto is trying to do. We were in the same imbroglio in 2007, 2013 and now in 2017. Electoral malpractices dates back to the reign of retired President Moi, who ruled Kenya with an iron fist for 24 years until his retirement in 2002.

This time round, we want tangible mechanisms that will pave the way for free, fair, credible and verifiable election. The US as a key partner for democracy can do better than piecemeal measures which leaves old wounds intact.

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