Foreign envoys urge Kenyans to shun violence ahead of fresh presidential polls

by Xinhua

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Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga

NAIROBI – Twelve foreign envoys from Western countries on Thursday called on Kenyans to shun violence ahead of fresh presidential elections to be held on Oct. 17.

The envoys from countries including Britain, the United States and Germany, in a joint statement, stressed on the need for Kenyans to be allowed to express their will freely including through peaceful protests and urged the police to avoid using excessive force while protecting lives and property.

“Electoral violence remains a serious problem for Kenya and we again call on all leaders and citizens to reject it utterly. We are deeply troubled by the murder of Chris Msando and by the deaths and injuries we have seen in recent weeks,” said the envoys.

The late Msando who was found murdered on July 29 was a key official at Kenya’s electoral commission.

He was one of a handful of officials who had the electoral commission’s computer system passwords and knew the exact location of the servers to run the election.

The foreign envoys said Kenyans have a right to peaceful protest, noting that no one should use or call for violence.

“We strongly urge the security services to avoid using excessive force and to protect lives and property. The police and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) should investigate crimes and reports of misconduct and those responsible for abuses must be prosecuted,” they said.

Both local and international human rights groups have accused police of using excessive force that led to the loss of lives during demonstrations by opposition supporters after President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of Aug. 8 elections.

The opposition said more than 100 of its supporters were killed between Aug. 11 and 13 while state-run human rights body put the death toll at 24. However, the police have dismissed the number, saying only six were killed.

According to the envoys, if the right of all Kenyans to free, fair, and credible elections is to be realized, Kenya’s democratic institutions must do their job well and Kenyans should defend and give them due regard.

“This means supporting an independent Supreme Court and judiciary; all should respect justices doing their constitutionally-mandated work. Civil society should be permitted to perform its critical role without harassment,” said the envoys.

The diplomats said the media, whether traditional or new, also has an essential role to play in informing the public and in acting, along with civil society, as a watchdog.

“It should be allowed to do so without impediment, and it should do so without inciting hate. Most importantly, citizens should return to the ballot box to make their choice,” said the envoys.

The diplomats said Friday’s apex court’s decision to annul the election of President Kenyatta was a strong call to everyone, including the international community, to reflect on how to make each election better than the previous one.

The envoys also cautioned Kenyans that the coming presidential election also faces risks from fake news despite a promise by the government to curb its spread.

They said while fake news is a global phenomenon, “its impact here in Kenya is increasingly prominent and negative.”

“Some of our Missions — and some of us individually — have been the subject of fake stories and false attacks in this election period. We strongly reject these attempts to distort our work and our commitment to democracy,” said the envoys.

They dismissed reports of endorsing a particular candidate in the Kenyan elections, reiterating that their electoral assistance was requested by the government and conformed at all times with Kenyan law.

“At no time did we endorse or prefer any candidate or party. We never asked any candidate to concede. Instead, we encouraged candidates with complaints to go to the courts in accordance with Kenya’s Constitution, and we publicly welcomed their decision to do so,” the diplomats.

1 COMMENT

  1. Subject: Foreign envoys urge Kenyans to shun violence ahead of fresh presidential pollsby XinhuaSep 7, 2017
    Commentary, 8 Sept 2017
    The Title gives a good advice, no doubt about it.
    But the age-old fact remains intact. “The Twelve foreign envoys from Western countries” which includes “Britain, the United States and Germany” are very much interested in their investment in Africa for the benefit of their own ‘profits’. They will do ‘anything’ to protect their investment. They have absolutely no qualms about the African people. It is NOT a new phenomenon. It is, in fact, in the nature of human beings – protect thyself.

    But to dwell on our own house, Africa has always been a ‘play ground’ for colonial forces of various shades. In the process, the interest of the African People was NEVER a primary factor. The daily condition of African Race unequivocally proves to that fact on the ground. Hence, the diplomatic ‘love’ and call for ‘peace’ is nothing more than crocodile tears. And the exploitation of Africa goes on in convenient collusion with ‘hungry’ African Dictators. And so, the cliché goes on: C’est la Vie. It is the ancient ‘HORROR’ story in the Dark Continent of Africa.

    One last TRAGEDY for Africa: The EDUCATED elites of Africa – it is generally believed – is supposed to be pancreas of society to be enlightened and move forward to new heights for the benefit of ALL. NOT IN AFRICA. The “MODERN” education system that was introduced in Africa by foreign entities (religious and charlatans) was NOT meant to liberate and elevate Africa to new heights but to conquer and subjugate the MIND of the AFRICAN CHILD. It has been done with other societies [1].

    Now, in the 21st Century, what do we have? We have about eighty-thousand (80,000 rough figure) Africans with Doctor of Philosophy Degrees (Ph D) in various fields of endeavour from Western Universities. Did they make any difference to Africa for Africans, in Africa? The answer is simply NO. At the very least, we have to be honest and face the TRUTH. The TRUTH of Africa is that the Western Education System that hypnotized the AFRICAN CHILD has resulted in insidious INFERIORITY COMPLEX negating the African-ness of the Child but miserably failed to be like his Master – hence dangling in between, not knowing which way to go. Proof? African Intellectuals CANNOT get together and discuss about the salvation of their Africa. They are simply INCAPABLE of doing it. They were never “EDUCATED” but only to be perfect ‘mimickers’

    We need a jolt of MIRACLE in Africa.

    Fotnote
    [1] The brave, courageous, honest Aboriginal People of North America were the victim of historic crime by European invaders. Young Aboriginal children were taken away from their mothers and fathers and placed in a ‘civilized’ dungeon (school) to start the process of BRAIN WASHING by not less than the Christian Church, Nuns and Priests!!! The result is what we see today. To cut the story short, the crime was acknowledged and cheap words were documented to say ‘sorry’. But the damaged has been done – irreparably. Isn’t that what has happened – and still continue to happen – in our Africa too?

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