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UN lacks proper understanding of Kenyan political dynamics – Cleophas Malala

The ruling Kenya Kwanza Coalition has expressed its disappointment with the recent statement made by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) spokesperson, Jeremy Laurence, concerning the acts of civil disorder arising from violent opposition-sponsored demonstrations.

The Coalition asserts that the statement lacks a genuine factual basis and fails to grasp the context in which the demonstrations have taken place, potentially compromising the credibility and independence of the institution.

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The Coalition emphasizes Kenya’s vibrant democracy, where political leadership is subject to the people’s will through free and fair elections every five years.

In the statement issued by Cleophas Malala, Secretary-General of the Kenya Kwanza Coalition, “This failure by the UN OHCHR to properly contextualize recent events, and to condemn the opposition’s refusal to accept free and fair electoral and judicial outcomes may be interpreted, at home and abroad, as a statement by the United Nations that free and fair elections do not matter, that independent and fair election dispute resolution processes do not matter, and that political power is not something to be secured at the ballot box but rather to be seized through violent acts of insurrection against the Constitution.”

The current Government, formed after the Coalition’s victory in the August 2022 elections, assumed office following a unanimous affirmation of the electoral victory by the Supreme Court and validation by independent local and international observers.

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However, the Coalition notes that in the past three decades, Kenya has faced challenges from opposition politicians who refuse to accept election outcomes unless they emerge as winners or part of the winning team.

“The Coalition is also disappointed that the statement fails to condemn the opposition for resorting to violence after losing at the ballot box in a free and fair election; and thereafter losing an election petition before the Supreme Court. The UN OHCHR should be wary of being (mis)used by politicians for their own purposes,” Mr Malala added.

The ongoing violent demonstrations by the opposition in select locations across the country, serve as the latest example of this refusal to accept the will of the people as expressed through the ballot box.

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The Kenya Kwanza Coalition brands the protests as driven by selfish personal interests. These violent demonstrations have resulted in loss of lives, destruction of property, disruption of commerce, and a threat to the nation’s way of life.

While the Coalition acknowledges the right to peaceful protest as enshrined in the Constitution, it condemns the recent demonstrations, which have deviated from the envisioned peaceful and unarmed expressions of dissent.

The Coalition commended the National Police Service and other security organs for exercising restraint in the face of provocations and acts of violence.

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