Kenya: Candidates Blast West

Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto tore into Western nations Saturday, which have indicated reluctance to work with leaders indicted by the International Criminal Court.

Kenyatta and Ruto who were in Eldoret, accused the West of intimidation and insisted that the choice of Kenya's next president will be purely a Kenyan affair.

"Jubilee is for a government that is elected by Kenyans and for Kenyans. We won't be intimated and Kenyans won't be intimidated. Those calling themselves as our friends have no right to tell us who to elect. The people of Kenya are ready for a jubilee government and won't accept intimidation," Ruto said, daring the respective nations to publicly announce the candidate they were rooting for.

He alleged that the West had a preferred candidate and that it had resorted to threats and intimidation after it became clear to them that the Jubilee team was destined for victory in the March 4 general election.

The former Eldoret North MP said that there was a contradiction on the correct position of the West insisting that Kenya has lots of governments that are willing to work with her.

"There is no difference between them and those who use threats and intimidate Kenyans and those who use violence. It is dictatorship and is unacceptable in any democracy," Ruto said.

"Kenya has friends it can work with to ensure that its programs are effected and the jubilee government won't be frightened by scaremongers. You cannot say Kenyans have the right to elect then at the same time say there will be consequences if Uhuru is elected," he added.

On Thursday, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson appeared to contradict the stand taken by President Barrack Obama on Kenya's March 4 polls, with a caution that the choice of president "would have global consequences."

Speaking from Washington via telephone link with reporters at the United States embassy in Nairobi, Carson warned that as much as the general election was a Kenyan affair, its outcome will have implications since a president "must work with the international community."

"Individuals have reputations; individuals have images, histories and reputations. When they are selected to lead their countries those reputations do not go away from them, they are not separated," Carson warned.

A similar caution was also announced by the French government which said that it would stick to the European Union (EU) position of "essential contact only" if an inductee of the ICC is elected Kenya's president.

Even though French ambassador Etienne de Poncins said Kenyans have a right to elect a president of their choice, he made it clear that the electorate should not to expose the country to undue consequences.

Kenyatta who made a grand entry in Eldoret with a motorcade snaking up to five kilometers, backed by six helicopters maintained that they had a good plan for the country in their manifesto and a way in which to implement that plan.

Kenyatta called on Kenyans to come out in large numbers and vote to show the world that they were in support of the Jubilee coalition.

He said that he had resolved to work together with Ruto so that peace prevails regardless of the political environment.

Former Mvita MP Najib Balala said that European nations and United States should end their threats as Kenya could well do business with fellow Africans, China, India and others.

The leaders were accompanied by Cabinet Minister Charity Ngilu Assistant Minister Jebii Kilimo, former MPs Joyce Laboso, Joshua Kutuny, Aden Duale, Jackson Kiptanui, William Kabogo, Ferdinand Waititu, Danson Mungatana and Rachel Shebesh among others.



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