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File: Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has asked the Western envoys to 'keep off' the nation's politics politics. Photo: AFP
Kenya’s fiery opposition leader Raila Odinga has told Western envoys in the country to leave the opposition alone following their push for him to recognise President Uhuru Kenyatta as the duly elected leader of the nation, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on Monday.
The blunt message was delivered at a rally in the capital Nairobi and appeared to be specifically aimed at US ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, who has led Western envoys in insisting that the legitimacy of the government of Kenyatta should be acknowledged by all before national dialogue happens.
Odinga, the leader of the National Super Alliance (Nasa) has vowed never to recognise Kenyatta as president nor the legitimacy of the ruling Jubilee Party.
He went further and held a mock inauguration in January, countering Kenyatta’s November swearing in, and said his party would continue with a national campaign of civil disobedience which included the establishment of a national resistance movement.
At the Nairobi rally Odinga insisted that Kenyans were capable of solving their own problems and asked the diplomats to “keep off” Kenyan politics.
The Nasa leader also accused the envoys of serving selfish interests after they endorsed the outcome of the repeat elections held in October last year.
“They can only be observers,” Odinga said of the envoys. “Their only interest is to do business at the behest of their countries. They are not interested in our democracy.”
His anger followed a statement released by 11 ambassadors and high commissioners who urged him to “accept the fact that Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were the legitimate President and Deputy of Kenya” after the Supreme Court upheld their election on October 26 last year.
“The opposition needs to accept this as the basis for the dialogue that it, and many Kenyans, want. Stoking and threatening violence are not acceptable, nor are extra-constitutional measures to seize power,” they said, apparently referring to Odinga’s “People’s President” push.
Signatories to the statement included the US’ Robert Godec, UK’s Nic Hailey and Canada’s Sara Hradecky, Jutta Frasch (Germany), Alison Chartres (Australia), Mette Knudsen (Denmark), Victor Conrad Rønneberg (Norway), Anna Jardfelt (Sweden), Frans Makken (Netherlands), Kim Ramoneda (France) and Tarja Fernández (Finland).Source: AFP