NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – Opposition leaders Raila Odinga, Moses Wetangula and Martha Karua have previously criticised the US government involvement in Kenya’s internal affairs when in power.
In 2009, Wetangula lashed out at Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson and former American ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger.
Wetangula was agitated after Carson said the US government would deny several senior officials in President Mwai Kibaki’s government visas to the US.
“The meddlesome attitude that we are seeing from our friends, the Americans… It is with regret that an assistant minister of a friendly country walks into our country uninvited, makes fairly unacceptable and reckless statements then leaves. Diplomacy expects some certain minimum acceptable standards of behaviour,” he told journalists during a press conference at the time.
Carson at a press conference held at the US Embassy in Nairobi on May, 12, 2009 said the US government had slapped one government official with a travel ban and announced that three more were blocking political reforms.
It was understood that 15 individuals mostly government officials had received letters from the US over the same reason of frustrating political reforms.
Wetangula again hit out at Ranneberger after he openly raised concerns over the appointment of Aaron Ringera to head the then Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACA).
He warned Ranneberger against advising Kenya on government appointments the same way Kenya does not use its mission in America to dictate to the US of its governance matters.
“His conduct and statements on this issue of Ringera is inconsistent with the expectation of an ambassador. Our ambassador in Washington cannot under whatever circumstances question the appointment of anybody. The decisions we make may be popular or may be unpopular but they are our decisions,” Wetangula complained.
In 2010, when Odinga was Prime Minister, he dismissed Ranneberger as a chatterbox after leaked US cables described him and Kibaki as anti-reformists.
In February 2008 when Kenya was reeling from post-election chaos, Martha Karua as Justice Minister warned the international community against dictating to Kenya what to do.
“And as for the diplomats threatening us, I will remind them we are not a colony and I certainly don’t think my team will take pressure or dictation from any to other country. They are just junior officers in the order in the pecking unless if they are delivering a concrete message from their governments not their thoughts, what they say is totally irrelevant,” Karua stated.
“I would like them to know clearly that they are irrelevant.”
On Sunday, US President Barack Obama said it was odd that a member of the Opposition would want America to interfere with Kenya’s internal affairs now but when he was in government had asked the US to keep off.
He said everyone wants the US to be “very involved when they are not in power” but when in power, want the super power not to interfere.