Reserve your opinion, Kenya no longer a colony, Raila tells envoys

The relationship between NASA chief Raila Odinga and the Western powers has deteriorated, as they traded barbs over the legitimacy of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Just a day after 11 Western envoys asked NASA to recognise Uhuru and DP William Ruto as duly elected, Raila responded with fury and accused the ambassadors of neocolonialism.

Raila termed the envoys hypocrites who are hiding behind “so-called democracy” to advance the business interests of their nations.

“Those envoys are hypocrites. Stop interfering with our business in a colonial way. We will not accept to be colonised again,” Raila said yesterday.

“We want to tell them in clear terms that Kenya is an independent state and Kenyans themselves know whom they elected. They should only be observers. Kenyans have never dictated to the US who their President is. We’ve never told the British who their Prime Minister is.”

On Saturday, the envoys, led by Robert Godec (US) and Nic Hailey (UK), castigated Raila and warned that stoking and threatening violence are unacceptable.

“A father of multiparty democracy has made unsubstantiated claims about elections and unilaterally sworn himself in as ‘President’, in deliberate disregard of the Constitution for which he so proudly fought,” the envoys said.

“The Opposition must accept the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the election of October 26. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are the legitimate President and Deputy President. The Opposition needs to accept this as the basis for the dialogue that it and many Kenyans want.”

NASA has refused to recognise Uhuru’s election and its MPs last week skipped the vetting of Cabinet nominees in a radical move to discredit Jubilee. But in a statement to newsrooms, the ambassadors accused unnamed politicians of weakening institutions through their unbridled ambitions.

“The ambitions of politicians are fundamentally weakening institutions and breaking the bonds of shared citizenship, which Kenyans have built up patiently over decades,” they said.

Speaking when he visited the victims of the Kijiji slum fire in Lang’ata, Nairobi, Raila said the envoys are on record lauding the IEBC preparedness for the October 26 presidential rerun when it was clear things had been messed up.

This was despite the fact that IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati had declared a few days earlier that his commission could not guarantee free and fair polls and Roselyne Akombe had fled the country.

“They can’t come out now and say they were independent observers and try to lecture Kenyans. Kenyans will solve their problems themselves. They don’t need advice from those ambassadors,” Raila said.

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