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Kenyan MPs plan to boycott Obama’s speech

Kenyan legislators are an unhappy lot after the United States embassy refused to invite a colleague to Sunday’s public address by President Barack Obama in Kasarani.

The US embassy is said to have directly sent invitations to Members of Parliament, a protocol breach that angered Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi who said the embassy overlooked his office.

According to K24 TV, one Member of Parliament has not been invited to the event that will be held at  the Safaricom indoor arena, at the Moi sports centre Kasarani.

The television station claimed that the MP was bypassed because of an ongoing rape case against him, which rendered him ineligible to meet the US President.

Kenyans senators and MPs had pushed for President Obama to address a joint session of the two houses, but the itinerary changed at the last minute even after US security officers had inspected parliament buildings.

MP Junet Mohamed (Suna East) told Daily Nation that they had expected to be addressed by the President but have instead been invited to the Sunday event.

“We have been made to understand that there are some of us who will not be invited,” he added.

MP Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi) said on phone they had learnt that letters had been sent to politicians by the US embassy inviting them to the rally.

“I have not received mine although I have been made to understand that the letters have been sent to each of us individually. Even if I receive it, I will turn down the invitation because I believe he should have come to Parliament to address us,” said Mr Langat, adding that the US Embassy should have invited the leaders through their respective speakers or clerks.