Raila tells envoys to keep off Kenyan politics

The leader of Kenya’s opposition coalition Nasa, Mr Raila Odinga, Sunday hit out at Western envoys led by US ambassador Robert Godec after calls that he should accept the legitimacy of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Odinga, who last month ‘took the oath of office as the people’s president’, asked the diplomats to keep off Kenyan politics and said that Kenyans were capable of solving their problems internally.

Mr Godec, UK’s High Commissioner Nic Hailey and Sara Hradecky of Canada on Saturday warned that Kenya risked plunging into a political crisis should both the government and the Opposition continue disobeying the law.

They said Mr Odinga risked ruining his legacy if he continued disregarding the leadership of President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

A majority decision

But Mr Odinga accused the envoys of serving self-interests after they endorsed the August 8, 2017 presidential election and the repeat October voting.

The August polls were annulled by a majority decision of the Supreme Court on grounds of illegalities and irregularities committed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The Apex court, however, upheld the win of President Kenyatta in the October election, which was boycotted by Mr Odinga.

Mr Odinga spoke in Lang’ata in Nairobi while visiting residents whose houses were razed by a fire last month that killed at least four people.

He said that Kenya was an independent country guided by the Constitution.

The diplomats, Mr Odinga argued, were observers and should stick to that role.

The National Super Alliance leader said the envoys should only offer advice when needed.

Our democracy

Kenyans do not dictate to any European country who their leader should be, he added.

“We want to tell them in clear terms that Kenya is an independent country and the problems of Kenya will be solved by Kenyans themselves. They can only be, but observers,” said Mr Odinga.

“Their only interest is to do business at the behest of their countries. They are not interested in our democracy. Kenyans saw the role of the international observers on the 8 August and the kind of statement that they came up with,” he added.

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