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August 21, 2018

Accept Uhuru as legitimate President, Envoys tell Raila

Foreign envoys led by US's Robert Godec address the press in Nairobi on October 23, 2017. FILE
Foreign envoys led by US's Robert Godec address the press in Nairobi on October 23, 2017. FILE

Eleven envoys have asked Opposition leader Raila Odinga to accept Uhuru Kenyatta's presidency as legitimate.

Led by US ambassador Robert Godec on Sunday, the envoys said the Opposition must accept that Uhuru and William Ruto are the legitimate President and Deputy President of Kenya.

"The Opposition needs to accept this as the basis for the dialogue that it and many Kenyans want," Godec said in a statement signed by the envoys on February 11.

 Read: Uhuru still illegitimate president, resistance on, Raila tells BBC

Raila has maintained that he does not recognize Uhuru as the President of Kenya saying they will continue to push for electoral reforms through civil disobedience.

The NASA leader plans to shift the fight against Uhuru’s “illegitimate” re-election to the United Nations.

Close allies of the Opposition leader disclosed that NASA was working on a petition to challenge Uhuru’s legitimacy at the New York-based global agency.

Also read: NASA to challenge Uhuru’s ‘illegitimate’ reelection at UN

But Godec said "stoking and threatening violence" are not acceptable nor are extra-Constitutional measures to seize power.

"Only Kenyans can resolve the country’s problems. We again call for an immediate, sustained, open, and transparent National Conversation involving all Kenyans," he said.

Godec said Kenyans must summon all their strength and resolve, reaffirm the Constitution, and put the country back on the path to democracy, prosperity, and security.

"We are investing in Kenya and have great hope for the future. Like all democratic countries, including our own, Kenya’s democracy is not perfect. But it can and should remain a source of strength, and an inspiration to all of us," he said.

Concern?

He said they are 'deeply' concerned by recent political developments in Kenya where the Government and the Opposition have taken steps that have undermined Kenya’s institutions.

The Opposition leader swore himself in on January 30 as people's president, a move that sparked anger from the government.

The government commenced a crackdown of the media and Opposition leaders where arrests, detentions, withdrawal of their passports and gun license took place,

Read: Kalonzo, Mudavadi gun licences revoked in crackdown on NASA

"The ambitions of politicians are fundamentally weakening institutions, and breaking the bonds of shared citizenship, which Kenyans have built up patiently over decades," Godec said.

Noting that they are not dictating how Kenyans should regulate their country’s affairs, Godec said leaders must govern justly on behalf of all citizens.

"When citizens disagree with the decisions leaders make, they dissent peacefully," he said.

Godec urged the government to comply fully with court orders and follow the legal process.

Last week, CJ David Maraga warned state officials and institutions against disobeying court orders.

He spoke after IG Joseph Boinnet and DCI George Kinoti defied five orders to release lawyer Miguna Miguna from police custody.

Read: All Kenyans must follow court orders, Maraga says after Miguna drama

"When individuals are arrested, their rights should be respected and due process followed. Citizens have the responsibility to protest non-violently, and security services should avoid the unnecessary or excessive use of force," Godec said.

Godec said the government has a special duty to protect democratic institutions and adhere to the Constitution and the rule of law at all times.

The statement was signed by;

  1. Robert F. Godec (Ambassador of the United States)
  2. Nic Hailey (High Commissioner for the United Kingdom)
  3. Jutta Frasch (Ambassador of Germany 
  4. Alison Chartres (High Commissioner for Australia)
  5. Sara Hradecky (High Commissioner for Canada)
  6. Mette Knudsen (High Commissioner for Denmark
  7. Anna Jardfelt (Ambassador of Sweden)
  8.  Victor Conrad Rønneberg (Ambassador of Norway)
  9. Frans Makken (Ambassador of Netherlands)
  10. Tarja Fernández (Ambassador of Finland)
  11. Kim Ramoneda (Chargé d’Affaires a.i., France

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