from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – THE United Kingdom (UK) has lurched into another allegation of meddling in the internal affairs of an African country.
Jane Marriott, UK Ambassador to Kenya, has come under criticism for allegedly taking sides in the just-concluded presidential elections, whose outcome Raila Odinga is disputing.
The envoy has sparked outcry in the East African country after photos went viral of her meeting President-elect, William Ruto, and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman, Wafula Chebukati.
The prevailing feeling is that Marriott’s stance was premature as the results of the elections are to be contested in court.
The Azimio Kenyan Diaspora Global Network is among organisations that raised concern.
It alleged such actions were akin to endorsing vote rigging. Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja alleges vote rigging by the IEBC.
The announcement of Ruto as the winner has already divided the electoral commission after some commissioners distanced themselves from the process.
Some activists have demanded Marriott’s deportation.
Daniel Osoro urged the envoy to “go back to your country. Your reputation is already tainted.”
Albanos Kioko, an activist, accused the UK of colluding with IEBC to rig the local polls.
Marriott issued a statement on Monday referring to “a lot of misinformation circulating in the last few days about the UK and myself with regards to Kenya’s elections.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I want to categorically reiterate that the UK does not support or have a view on any candidates or parties in elections. Who Kenyans elect is a matter for the people of Kenya.”
She said of the aforementioned meetings, “We meet people from across the political spectrum to explain the UK’s programmes and partnership with Kenya, including independent institutions.”
Relations between UK and Kenya reached a low in 2002 then-president Daniel Arap Moi’s government accused Britain of dictatorship criticising a plan to prolong the president’s term in office.
The UK has previously been accused of meddling in the domestic affairs of former colonies.
In June, Ghana’s Inspector General of Police, George Akuffo Dampare, accused the British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, of interfering in the country’ s security matters.
This followed the arrest of social activist, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, over a motor offence.
UK has fallen out with Zimbabwe over the past two-decades amid allegations of the former coloniser, plotting regime change.
– CAJ News