@TheStar

US intervention? No thanks

4 months ago, 8 Mar 00:38

By: Macharia Kamau

That ambassadors Mark Bellamy and Johnnie Carson are accomplished US diplomats is not in doubt. It may also be assumed that their relationship with Kenya as former ambassadors in Nairobi gives them a more than average understanding of Kenya’s politics, economy and even social aspects. But the article by the two gentlemen published online on February 22, in which they call for US intervention in Kenya, is a clear demonstration of how preconceived notions and stereotypes about Africa by Western technocrats override any practical experience and knowledge acquired on the continent. Their knack for getting it wrong on African and Kenyan issues is dumbfounding. It is also a demonstration of why desk research on Africa, with the only source of information being a biased Western media, should be treated with disdain. The authors seem to revel in misinforming their readers not only on the existing situation but also on the events that unfolded during Kenya’s election cycle in 2017. They talk of political chaos and possible intercommunal violence and a palpable desire to change this trajectory. They even mourn that attempts by Western governments to appeal for calm are not being heeded. The reader will note how the authors are keen to weave the now familiar narrative of a crumbling African state and the ever-benevolent Western states, ready to intervene and sort “another fine mess in Africa”. Inevitably, attempts to weave this narrative in this article fall flat on the face due to the blatant use of lies, half-truths and innuendos. It’s a fact that Kenya’s vibrant electioneering period ended with the swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta on November 28, 2017 after he was duly elected in the October 26, 2017 repeat presidential election. The claims that there is a deliberate attempt by the Executive to subvert the rule of law cannot be further from the truth. Throughout the campaign period, the government demonstrated fidelity to the law with the then incumbent President accepting the Supreme Court ruling nullifying the August 8, 2017 presidential election even as he, and other legal analysts, disagreed with it. The main opposition coalition, clearly aware that their political strategy had failed, dithered and withered, eventually boycotting the repeat presidential elections. Their attempt to perpetrate violence in the wake of their electoral loss have been out rightly rejected by Kenyans with the government taking the necessary steps to fulfill its cardinal responsibility of protecting the lives and property of Kenyans in line with the Kenyan constitution. In the long and arduous walk to entrench democratic principles in Kenya, no individual or institution is exempt from the dictates of the constitution. Just like in any other democracy, the media, various arms of government, political parties, the civil society groups and all citizens are bound by the constitution and the violation of the same has consequences in line with the rule of law. The fact that Kenya went through the prolonged campaign and electioneering period and emerged peaceful, should be a reason to celebrate the resilience of ...
Read More


Category: oped opinion news

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@TheStar

US intervention? No thanks

4 months ago, 8 Mar 00:38

By: Macharia Kamau
That ambassadors Mark Bellamy and Johnnie Carson are accomplished US diplomats is not in doubt. It may also be assumed that their relationship with Kenya as former ambassadors in Nairobi gives them a more than average understanding of Kenya’s politics, economy and even social aspects. But the article by the two gentlemen published online on February 22, in which they call for US intervention in Kenya, is a clear demonstration of how preconceived notions and stereotypes about Africa by Western technocrats override any practical experience and knowledge acquired on the continent. Their knack for getting it wrong on African and Kenyan issues is dumbfounding. It is also a demonstration of why desk research on Africa, with the only source of information being a biased Western media, should be treated with disdain. The authors seem to revel in misinforming their readers not only on the existing situation but also on the events that unfolded during Kenya’s election cycle in 2017. They talk of political chaos and possible intercommunal violence and a palpable desire to change this trajectory. They even mourn that attempts by Western governments to appeal for calm are not being heeded. The reader will note how the authors are keen to weave the now familiar narrative of a crumbling African state and the ever-benevolent Western states, ready to intervene and sort “another fine mess in Africa”. Inevitably, attempts to weave this narrative in this article fall flat on the face due to the blatant use of lies, half-truths and innuendos. It’s a fact that Kenya’s vibrant electioneering period ended with the swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta on November 28, 2017 after he was duly elected in the October 26, 2017 repeat presidential election. The claims that there is a deliberate attempt by the Executive to subvert the rule of law cannot be further from the truth. Throughout the campaign period, the government demonstrated fidelity to the law with the then incumbent President accepting the Supreme Court ruling nullifying the August 8, 2017 presidential election even as he, and other legal analysts, disagreed with it. The main opposition coalition, clearly aware that their political strategy had failed, dithered and withered, eventually boycotting the repeat presidential elections. Their attempt to perpetrate violence in the wake of their electoral loss have been out rightly rejected by Kenyans with the government taking the necessary steps to fulfill its cardinal responsibility of protecting the lives and property of Kenyans in line with the Kenyan constitution. In the long and arduous walk to entrench democratic principles in Kenya, no individual or institution is exempt from the dictates of the constitution. Just like in any other democracy, the media, various arms of government, political parties, the civil society groups and all citizens are bound by the constitution and the violation of the same has consequences in line with the rule of law. The fact that Kenya went through the prolonged campaign and electioneering period and emerged peaceful, should be a reason to celebrate the resilience of ...
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