Only government can seek to recall US Envoy, Mutua tells off Raila
The Kenyan government, through its Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, Dr Alfred Mutua, has come out to defend remarks made by US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Cushing Whitman during the ongoing devolution conference in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
Ambassador Whitman’s comments regarding the 2022 elections sparked a wave of criticism from opposition leaders within the country, who expressed their dissatisfaction with her statements.
In his statement, Dr Mutua said only the government could initiate the process of recalling a foreign envoy if it feels that the envoy has violated or interfered in the country’s affairs.
“If Kenya has a problem with any diplomat or country, it is the work of the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs to summon and seek clarification. It is only the Government of Kenya that can seek the recalling of an envoy,” Dr Mutua said.
The CS said the Kenya Kwanza government under President William Ruto would work with those who are attuned to the transformation plan and welcome other partners who can see that Kenya is moving in the right direction.
“We welcome the fact that the Ambassador of the United States, with her very strong private sector background, has seen Kenya’s enormous potential under President William Ruto’s leadership. She has recognized our nation’s potential and trajectory and does not require retribution from anyone who loves our country,” Dr Mutua added.
The CS said Ambassador Whitman’s message resonated well with Kenya’s Kwanza Economic Empowerment Plan and commended her for speaking the truth to the naysayers, “however painful it may be to some people who live in denial”.
The CS’s remarks castigate the earlier statement made by Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition’s Mr Raila Odinga during the devolution conference, where he asked Ambassador Whitman to shut her mouth.
In his remarks, Mr Odinga asked the US Ambassador to stay away from Kenyan affairs and threatened to start a process to have her sent home.
What didn’t go down well with the opposition was part of Ambassador Whitman’s statement, where she said that the last election, according to commentators and observers, was the freest, fairest, and most credible election in Kenyan history.
Under Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a receiving state has the right to declare any member of a diplomatic mission as persona non grata without needing to provide justification, signaling their unwelcome status.