US Ambassador’s Praise for Kenya’s Democracy Draws Criticism from Opposition.
Kenya’s opposition politicians have expressed their dismay over comments made by United States Ambassador Meg Whitman, describing Kenya as the most stable democracy in Africa. During an address to Kenyan leaders, including President William Ruto, Ambassador Whitman commended Kenya’s recent election as remarkably free, fair, and credible.
However, the Kenyan opposition disputes this assessment, highlighting concerns about the accuracy and verifiability of the election results. The opposition took their grievances to the Supreme Court, further emphasizing the contentious nature of the elections.
Opposition senator Oburu Odinga, who is also the brother of opposition leader Raila Odinga, expressed his discomfort with Ambassador Whitman’s comments. He found it insensitive to commend Kenya’s democracy while the government was curbing Kenyans’ rights to demonstrate, protest, and assemble, particularly in light of recent arrests of anti-government demonstrators.
The opposition leaders further raised concerns that Ambassador Whitman’s remarks might undermine ongoing negotiations between the Azimio la Umoja opposition coalition and the ruling coalition, Kenya Kwanza. They urged the ambassador to exercise sensitivity and maturity in her statements to avoid creating divisions and eroding trust among Kenyans.