The happenings in Kenya have caught the attention of the West, more so the US where US President Donald Trump has been asked to warn President Uhuru Kenyatta of punitive actions if he does not stop the ongoing crackdown against Opposition leaders.
The Washington Post editorial board said on Tuesday, February 6, that the Trump administration should warn him of punitive actions, including sanctions, if he does not stop.
The board went on to ask the international community including Kenya’s neighbours and Western donors to demand that Uhuru reverses the course before it is too late.
The State is cracking the whip on Opposition politicians since National Super Alliance head, Raila Odinga, held a mock-swearing in on January 30.
On the same day, the government shut down four media stations after they denied a directive not to air the ceremony live. Two have since been reopened but the rest remain closed.
“By shutting down media, ignoring court orders and charging peaceful opponents with treason, he [Uhuru] is dangerously raising tensions in an already polarised society and inviting ostracism for his government,” the editorial wrote.
Adding, “he [Uhuru] is leading the country back toward the autocracy it thought it had left behind.”
The Washington Post also noted that Uhuru was being vindictive after the Supreme Court nullified his August election victory in a landmark ruling.
“Uhuru could have fixed the problems with the voting process and defeated Raila again. Instead, he embarked on a vindictive campaign, sponsoring legislation to prevent the supreme court from censuring future elections and intimidating electoral officials, one of whom fled the country,” the body said.
The piece comes hot on the heels of the US State Department issuing a statement last week criticising both Raila’s ‘inauguration’ and the shutdown of television stations.