US now cautions over choice of Kenyan president

Speaking from Washington via video link with reporters at the United States embassy in Nairobi, Carson warned that as much as the general election was a Kenyan affair, its outcome will have implications since a president “must work with the international community.”/FILE

Speaking from Washington via video link with reporters at the United States embassy in Nairobi, Carson warned that as much as the general election was a Kenyan affair, its outcome will have implications since a president “must work with the international community.”/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7- US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson appeared to contradict the stand taken by President Barrack Obama on Kenya’s March 4 polls, with a caution on Thursday that the choice of president ‘would have global consequences.”

Speaking from Washington via video link with reporters at the United States embassy in Nairobi, Carson warned that as much as the general election was a Kenyan affair, its outcome will have implications since a president “must work with the international community.”

“Individuals have reputations; individuals have images, histories and reputations. When they are selected to lead their countries those reputations do not go away from them, they are not separated,” Carson cautioned.

“We as the United States do not have a candidate or a choice in the elections; however, choices have consequences, we live in an interconnected world and people should be thoughtful about the impact their choices have on their nation, economy region and the world in which they live,” he advised.

On Tuesday, Obama issued a statement from the White House saying the US was prepared to accept and respect whatever choice the Kenyan electorate make on March 4.

Obama also urged Kenyans to reject incitement which could lead to violence which was witnessed in the country after the disputed election of 2007.

“The choice of who will lead Kenya is up to the Kenyan people. The United States does not endorse any candidate for office, but we do support an election that is peaceful and reflects the will of the people,” Obama said on Tuesday.

Carson repeated Obama’s plea that the election be free and fair and without intimidation. The envoy said that the country’s leaders had to be held responsible for their actions before during and after the election.

He said that a peaceful and successful election will guarantee the nation’s stability and continue to attract foreign investment and to fuel the country’s economic growth.

“Accountability for electoral violence including that experienced in 2007/8 is an important part of building a peaceful and prosperous county,” added Carson highlighting the drop in economic growth experienced after the 2007 general election.

Obama’s message on Tuesday was welcomed by presidential candidates Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Alliance and a day later by Raila Odinga of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy.


Lordrick is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. He is passionate about political and governance issues. He also takes keen interest in human rights matters, justice and is fond of sports.

  • Diana

    LOVE IT!!!! Johnny Carson, tell it like it is!

  • Joe Ngash

    what happend to innocent till proven guilty.. am disgusted by the levels this guyz are willing to go to manipulate us……… let the kenyans decide. . .

    • Kwessi Pratt

      There is no question of innocence here! You dont force innocency as we have witnessed already! In any case, we are talking about individuals who dont meet international standards of democracy. Its universal for all democratic leaders not be tainted, let alone being faced with confirmed cases at International Criminal Court! Of course, you swallowed the propaganda to effect that certain countries are trying to lock out from election certain powerful candidates, hence the frustrations! The bottomline is that some fellows are accused of crimes against humanity, the most serious crimes on earth! Its not about who they are or where they come from. Morality and decency would have forced them to fight their personal battles out there alone. But moral vacuums have no qualms about it. Especially when fearing that the odds are against them, they would opt to involve the whole country in their personal miseries! Thats whats not acceptable at all!!!!

  • sisemikitu

    Kenya needs a massive shake up! Someone said, every great nation in the world today underwent great tribulations in its history – US, SA,China, Japan, Germany, Israel and now Rwanda, Angola et al.

  • simon

    same guys who said the KDF would get massacred in somalia,ati we cant do it on our own..i believe in me and my decision whether its what they want or not..its not the size of a dog in a fight that matters,but the size of a fight in a dog that matters. kwessi pratt comment and i will tell you why nothing in form of their threats will keep kenya from roaring on its plains

    • Kwessi Pratt

      Same same guys financed us and wholly provided machinery to overcome al shaabab. To think otherwise is outright self-deception!!!!

      • simon

        pratt you could never be so wrong in your life..machinery used in somalia,apart from the donated humvees a while back,was PURCHASED from china and russia and south africa,very little came from these guys acting out like kenya is their 53rd state.funding? the guys have practically refused to pay back the money even after agreeing to do so,so your comment is just but a pile of manure.
        what they are saying in short: elect someone who will give us the jobs once more,the contracts we want, for the right to influence how you run your country without so much as a question, to feel wanted and needed once more.
        the main thing causing american pronouncements is simple: lamu port. the main reason KDF is in somalia. restore stability and the links east africa and west africa aka the new transport corridor from asia to europe and america. its inception brings jobs and alot of wealth for kenya and the region as a whole,thus by extension end to african conflicts.
        personally,china and japan along with india(yes,india) and russia are a better bet to relate with compared to america and the european union. case in point: thika road construction,no tied in terms and conditions to get the money. in retrospect, the world bank(aka america) refused to provide much needed guarantee for the construction of the wind power project in turkana,ati kenyans will suffer, while we know real well that hyo stima has already started being consumed even before it has been incepted..power for future upcoming infrastructure(electric trains,konza city, Northern Frontier District,factories clamoring for way cheaper power etc),hell even lamu inangojea that electricity. kenya is headed for greatness, this only shows how we should choose our friends and future relations. so my opinion: they can go to hell and do what they do best there. at least i know with the uhuru character i will have a job,and hence contribute to the greatness of kenya and the east african community as a whole.
        that was just a scratch of the surface..more comments = more digging deeper into the workings of foreign policy

        • Kwessi Pratt

          Am just breaking off for my family weekend. I will thus respond wholly later. But first, you may feign power of ‘Asian machinery,” but truth is the opposite. Without encouragement and total support from these guys, we wont have left our seats for Somalia. Without that promise of better things to come in the process of the war, we wont have taken a single step towards Somalia! Perhaps, you have forgotten the fear is always there and with such unpredictable situation, we had no stomach to wage war in Somalia! And without satelite support from these guys, we would have been too cowed to even look in to that direction!!!!

          • simon

            all that was on wikileaks around that time was how america WARNED kenya not to go to somalia coz they wont manage the backlash,KDF wont see victory,rather bodybags.even on launch the ambassadors werent told guessed it, they would have taken all the thunder.fact is this:we are where we are because of cofee and tea and tourism,now diversifying to hydrocarbons and minerals and refining the same,huge market in southern and central africa compared to the enforced godfathers of ours. am awaiting your reply,hell i can even give you factual replies instead of the desktop journalism ur practicing over there

          • Kwessi Pratt

            Wikileaks is neither an American nor European authority! They are as good as rumours on River Road! I get amazed when we mix matters while pretending to know! Kenyan government was just “prodded” to go to war. Any other stuff is total fabrication!!!!

          • simon

            why then go after the man behind wikileaks..base your arguments and points on things that actually exist. prodded by who? i should give you a link to a site that would open your eyes on what is actually happening and not just some random things you come up with on the internet written by “google”journalists and other characters who think they know what is happening.

          • Kwessi Pratt

            You want to mean river road rumours dont exist? And do you know who Iam to give unsolicited “nonstarter?” Arm yourself with enough information to allow you argue on real facts! Dont just opt to “accuse” when that doesnt amount to much! It actually reduces you to something close to nonsense!!!!

  • perepepe

    We would be undeserving of freedom, independence and dignity if we are subtly bullied by foreigners not to vote for a certain duo because of likely but unspecified consequences. We would be an embarrassment to our freedom fighters who gave their lives and shed their blood for an independent and self-determining Kenya. If by my vote I will be re-enforcing what our independence heroes fought for, then my vote, as a protest vote, is the least I can do to honour them and defend the dignity of my motherland. I refuse to vote based on fear, intimidation and subtle coercion by foreigners. I stand up to be counted. I stand up for Kenya. Bring on the consequences!

    • Kwessi Pratt

      Who said economic sanctions are just a mere “if” or lack specificity? They are real and SURE TO COME if criminal suspects are elected! Why is Uhuru /Ruto banned from travelling to USA and western Europe if it was a matter of guess work? And if you truly stand for Kenya, you should be wishing the country well and not being arrested by purported popularity of suspected criminals! Kenya is not about one or two individuals, its about 42million people! So why the empty fixation with suspected criminal duo or is tribalism at its worst?

      • perepepe

        I know during our struggle for independence we had home guards perhaps the equivalent of house negroes in the US during slavery. Sincerely I do understand your perspective…which simply is the “The Master is right…and you better do what he says or else…..” Free you mind Kwessi Pratt!

        • Kwessi Pratt

          The only difference between you and me is that I can see the big picture and am not held back by empty tribalism! By the way, what makes you think that if Uhuru is not on the ballot things are not right? And freeing your mind is literally favoring your kinsman? I dont need that poisoned freedom of mind pal!!!

          • perepepe

            You really do sound like Samuel L Jakson’s character in Django. Totally enslaved!!! What makes you think am Kikuyu?? Your take on this matter is so warped I think it unnecessary to continue this discussion.

    • John Juma

      My friend, you are just talking because it has not started, imagine right now in Sudan ATMs are not working, it is because of these consequences you want to invite to Kenya.

      Sanctions are inevitable to Kenya if these duo are elected into office; let no one cheat Kenyans, look to what is happening to Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, all because sanctions!! We may talk a lot of things, but the fact remains, we will be isolated, I wonder if you are a radio fan, listen to what Waweru Mburu of Citizen Radio usually tell Kenyans, we elect them at our own peril!!!

      • perepepe

        Let them come. Some of us are not cowards, Uncle Toms or boot lickers. Waweru who????

  • Wanted I

    What a president says is like bible. It can be interpreted by people differently. To you, Obama said ” I do not support Raila” . That is the message you got and went dancing!!!!!!! So when Carson interprates it differently you ask for further clarifications. Is it the English or what?

  • ali mohamed

    This is a rogue diplomat, with no manners, no shame , no grace, no self respect