The United States government has condemned NASA leader Raila Odinga’s decision to swear himself in on Tuesday, December 12, 2017.
Donald Yamamoto, U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, rather urged Mr. Odinga to work within the Constitution to pursue reforms as well as hold immediate and transparent dialogue to resolve the political divisions that have threatened to plunge the country into a crisis.
“The United States urges opposition leaders to work within Kenya’s laws to pursue the reforms they seek and to avoid extra-constitutional actions such as the proposed “inauguration ceremony” on December 12. We again call for an immediate, sustained, open, and transparent national conversation involving all Kenyans,” read the statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.
Furthermore, the U.S. vowed to work closely with the ruling administration which is embarking on a second and final term.
“The United States will work to deepen our partnership with Kenya of over 50 years. We are committed to working closely with the Kenyan government and people to strengthen further our excellent ties and to enhance security, democracy, and prosperity for everyone.”
In response to the statement, Raila Odinga on Thursday said the U.S. should stop meddling in Kenya’s affairs.
He added that he and the opposition do not recognize Uhuru Kenyatta as the president and that Kenyans can solve their own problems.
“We don’t recognize the swearing-in. We will go by the results of August 8 elections in which Kenyans expressed their will,” he said.
“We will not be intimidated… our friends can advise us but they should not shout at us about violating the constitution… constitution my foot.”
Mr. Odinga’s advisor Salim Lone has, meanwhile, said plans for the opposition leader’s inauguration ceremony is on course.
“Mr. Odinga’s swearing will be lawful. It will help prevent further polarization by giving Kenyans hope for electoral justice that was denied them, under a genuinely independent IEBC. It will also give new impetus for the People’s Assembly to guide county assemblies in urgently addressing a number of pressing economic and justice issues that will provide material benefits to our people,” said Lone in a statement.
Lome, however, added that his boss is also open for dialogue.
“Mr. Odinga has also always been open to a dialogue. He has repeatedly indicated his willingness… and his only condition for the dialogue is that it must have an agreed agenda, which should, unlike in 2008, include electoral justice.”