Kenya has found itself in murky diplomatic waters amidst claims that it solicited congratulatory messages from foreign countries after Supreme Court upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the October 26 fresh elections.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed is accused of asking UK’s foreign ministry as well other several countries to congratulate her boss, the Financial Times reported.
UK’s Borris Johnson was the first senior foreign official to congratulate President Uhuru Kenyatta with his office confirming that the former had spoken to Ms Mohamed but did not contradict the Kenyan version of events.
The UK endorsement of Mr Kenyatta was mostly solitary as other western countries have their reservations in the manner Mr Kenyatta’s was elected for a second term.
According to FT, a highly-regarded London-based publication, some diplomats said their governments were delaying congratulating President Kenyatta until he is sworn in next week.
The Financial Times also quoted an e-mail allegedly sent by Kenyan ambassador to Brussels, Johnson Weru, that seemed to imply he was pushing other countries to congratulate President Kenyatta after securing a second term.
“Following the Supreme Court of Kenya ruling early today and which has upheld the victory of President Kenyatta, I am kindly requesting your indulgence in preparing and dispatching a suitable congratulations message. I am at hand for any quick consultations,” Ambassador Weru said as quoted by the publication.
However, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma said that the congratulatory messages were flowing in on their own, that they were not solicited.
“From where we sit, the Supreme Court win is a re-affirmation of President Kenyatta’s August 8 win. Generally, everybody is commending the country for following the course of the rule of law. That is the general reaction. Actually, many of them (countries) are saying: Let’s move on,” said Ms Juma as quoted by the Nation.
By 6.30pm Tuesday, China and Israel, as well as Burundi, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Latvia, Palestine and Ethiopia, with African, Caribbean and Pacific group that bring together 79 states had already sent its messages. That adds to more than 40 countries that had sent theirs earlier.