Opposition must accept Uhuru is the legitimate president – 11 envoys
11 ambassadors representing the US, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada among others have called on opposition NASA Leader Raila Odinga to recognize Uhuru Kenyatta as the legitimate president of Kenya.
In a statement, the envoys led by America’s Robert Godec and Nic Hailey of the UK asked the opposition to accept the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the repeat election conducted on October 26, 2017.
“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 of Kenya,” read the statement.
“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,” the terse statement proceeds to say.
The Western nations however challenged Kenyans to resolve their own problems, and called for an immediate, sustained, open, and transparent dialogue involving all Kenyans to ease simmering tensions.
The 11 envoys have in the same vein pointed an accusing finger at both the Government and the Opposition for undermining the country’s institutions and fostering national disunity.
“A father of multi-party democracy has made unsubstantiated claims about elections and unilaterally sworn himself as ‘President,’ in deliberate disregard of the Constitution for which he so proudly fought,” the ambassadors noted in their statement titled Kenya’s Democracy is at a Crossroads.
“The Government, which should be the guarantor of liberty and freedom of expression for all under the law, has shut down television stations, seized the passports of Opposition leaders, refused to obey court orders, and deported a prominent Opposition lawyer. These events follow two elections that left many Kenyans dead and many more livelihoods disrupted,” they continued.
The statement has been signed by envoys Robert Godec (US), Nic Hailey (UK), Jutta Frasch (Germany), Sara Hradecky (Canada), Alison Chartres (Australia), Mette Knudsen (Denmark), Victor Conrad Rønneberg (Norway), Anna Jardfelt, (Sweden), Frans Makken (Netherlands), Kim Ramoneda (France) and Tarja Fernández (Finland).
But the sentiments are expected to irk Mr Odinga and his NASA brigade, who have refused to recognize Uhuru’s presidency and have accused the international community of complicity and remaining mum on constitutional violations by the Kenya government and killings during the electioneering period.