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Raila urges US envoy Whitman to stop meddling in Kenya’s affairs

Raila Odinga, the opposition and Azimio leader in Kenya, has sparked controversy by urging US Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, to refrain from meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

Odinga made these remarks during his address at the Devolution conference in Uasin Gishu county, where he emphasised the importance of respecting Kenya’s sovereignty.

Raila urges US envoy Whitman to stop meddling in Kenya’s affairs
US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman addressing the 8th devolution conference in Eldoret. PHOTO/Courtesy

Odinga expressed his dissatisfaction with Whitman’s comments on last year’s election results, which saw him lose to President William Ruto. In his speech, Odinga advised the ambassador to stay out of Kenya’s domestic politics and warned that failure to do so might result in her recall.

“Finally, I want to tell a rogue ambassador, leave Kenyans alone,” Odinga asserted firmly. By using the term “rogue ambassador,” he underscored his belief that Whitman was not acting in the best interests of the Kenyan people. Furthermore, Odinga emphasised that Kenya is not a colony of the United States, reminding Whitman to choose her words carefully while in the country.

Raila Odinga’s popularity as a former prime minister and his position as the leader of the opposition gives weight to his statements. Known for his fiery speeches, Odinga’s words have resonated among Kenyans who feel that foreign interference in their country’s affairs needs to be curtailed.

How Whiteman Rattled Raila: A Reflection on Kenya’s Democracy

Raila urges US envoy Whitman to stop meddling in Kenya’s affairs
Azimio leader Raila Odinga meets U.S delegation on August 18, 2022. PHOTO/Courtesy.

During her speech at the Devolution Conference, United States ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman discussed the current state of affairs in the country. According to Whitman, Kenya has made significant progress in terms of democracy. She went on to highlight that the 2022 General Election was the most transparent in the history of Kenya.

Whitman expressed her admiration for the process she witnessed during her visit just prior to the election. She described it as nothing short of remarkable. Furthermore, she emphasised that the ruling by the Supreme Court validated the transparency of the recent polls and showcased Kenya’s advancements in terms of democracy.

“The election received extensive monitoring from both local and international election organisations, and its results were duly upheld by the Kenyan Supreme Court,” Whitman confirmed. “Power was peacefully and orderly transferred at that time,” she concluded.

Raila Allies Criticize US Ambassador Whitman’s Remarks on Kenyan Affairs

Raila urges US envoy Whitman to stop meddling in Kenya’s affairs
Raila urges US envoy Whitman to stop meddling in Kenya’s affairs

In recent developments, opposition leaders in Kenya have expressed their dissatisfaction with statements made by US Ambassador to Kenya, Whitman. These remarks have stirred a debate about interference in Kenyan affairs by foreign powers. Senator Oburu Oginga from Siaya has voiced his concerns over what he perceives as insensitivity on the part of Ambassador Whitman.

Senator Oginga criticized Ambassador Whitman’s praise for the democratic and transparent nature of Kenyan elections while ignoring the alleged infringement of rights, specifically the right to demonstrate. He expressed his hurt and disappointment, stating, “I’m hurt when the US ambassador is dancing and praising democracy in Kenya when such rights are being criminalised and described as destruction of property.”

The opposition in Kenya has been actively engaged in anti-government protests, which have been met by heavy-handed responses from security forces. These protests are seen by the opposition as a means to express their grievances and demand change. While the government maintains that these demonstrations lead to destruction of property, the opposition argues that they are exercising their fundamental right to protest.

The US ambassador’s call for the opposition to halt their anti-government protests and consider dialogue has further fueled the controversy. In offering to mediate between the government and the opposition, Ambassador Whitman has positioned herself as a potential neutral party in the political unrest.

Raila expressed his disappointment with Ambassador Whitman’s stance. Odinga believes that foreign powers should not interfere in Kenyan affairs and that the people of Kenya should resolve their issues internally. He sees the ambassador’s offer to mediate as an unwelcome intrusion into the country’s political landscape.


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