Amid escalating political tensions triggered by opposition leader Raila Odinga’s call-to-recall threat, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua has stepped in to defend US Ambassador Meg Whitman, urging her to dismiss the threats and affirming the government’s support.
Odinga had sternly warned Ambassador Whitman, criticizing her recent statement and demanding that she refrain from interfering in Kenya’s internal affairs.
The government, however, asserts that Ambassador Whitman should not feel threatened or intimidated by unwarranted calls for her recall.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua emphasized that the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs has the exclusive authority to summon diplomats and seek clarifications on matters of concern.
He reiterated Kenya’s commitment to valuing its development partners and urged all diplomatic representatives to feel secure in carrying out their roles.
CS Mutua expressed gratitude for Ambassador Whitman’s candid remarks, which he stated resonate well with Kenya’s economic empowerment plan, Kenya Kwanza.
He highlighted that her statements, acknowledging the positive strides and transparent electoral process, align with the nation’s trajectory towards transformation.
Addressing attendees at the devolution conference in Eldoret, Ambassador Whitman praised Kenya’s August 2022 election as “the freest, fairest and most credible election in Kenyan history.” She highlighted the local and international observation of the election and the peaceful transfer of power upheld by the Kenyan Supreme Court.
However, opposition leader Raila Odinga responded critically, asserting Kenya’s autonomy: “Kenya is not a colony of the United States.” He demanded that Ambassador Whitman refrain from making comments on Kenya’s internal affairs, which has sparked a heated exchange of words between the opposition and those supporting the ambassador’s statements.
Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani defended Ambassador Whitman’s remarks and urged Raila Odinga to cease his threats. Governor Kihika stated, “The ambassador is best for Kenya.”
Meanwhile, Azimio senators including Moses Kajwang, Enoch Wambua, and Oboru Odinga criticized the ambassador’s involvement in internal matters while dismissing concerns in the country. Senator Wambua asserted, “It was unfortunate for the envoy to delve into internal matters.”