Foreign Envoys Should let Kenya Chart her own Destiny
On 4th August 2012 the US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton arrived in the country with a coded message to the two principals that largely dwelt on the need to hold a free and fair general election come March 4th 2013.
Well as at the moment, the citizenry is coalesced around a homogeneous thought; that the upcoming general must be free and fair. This is one of our countries primary objective that is domesticated by wanjiku at the grassroots to the President at the top of power echelons. Further, all institutions of government are burning their midnight oil to ensure that elections have an efficacy.
But in the recent period, Kenya has been treated to all sorts of visitations from high ranking foreign envoys, making specific reference to Clinton’s visit, with a pathological penchant for issuing unsolicited lectures which are based on their veiled imagination of what the country needs. Indeed welcoming Clinton and entertaining her only shows lack of priority on our part or on the American Governments part by sending her to Kenya.
Interestingly, her visits usually cause untold traffic snarl –ups that inconveniences innocent motorists with a bloated security detail- which by the way is only a propaganda tool that accentuates US position as a superpower but in reality it’s an utter misuse of American Taxpayers money.
More so the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 in Article 41(1) clearly states that “without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the law and regulations of the receiving state. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that state” clearly this is a guideline that Clinton and her compatriots choose to ignore, much to the chagrin of majority of Kenyans.
Indeed the US to date still holds dear the spirit of Monroe Doctrine of 1823 which aimed at opening up Latin Americas markets to US traders. Through their flagship company, United Fruits Company, the US harvested the rich resources of Latin America and in some extremities propped up unpopular regimes as long as they sustained this parasitic relationship. And when African countries attained independence in the mid sixties, it equally saw an opportunity in the resource largesse of the continent where it quickly formulated a policy, which was merely a revised copy of the Munroe Doctrine of 1823. Despotic regimes could be insulated as long as they played to the music, but countries with no known value were given a wide Berth.
No wonder it was not surprising that the US dwelt in the galleries when the Rwandan genocide was unfolding in 1994 because Rwanda lacks any known minerals like oil that can be exploited. But today, high ranking US government officials litter the streets of Kigali bearing large sacks of goodies to the Rwandese Government in a bid to save face.
Back in Kenya, our defense forces recently made a surge in Somalia with an aim of weeding out Al- Shabaab that has caused excessive trepidation among the citizenry with their uncivilized and heinous criminal activities like grenade attacks and kidnappings, not to mention piracy activities. But the Americans, major proponents of anti-terrorism efforts, chose to stay on the sideline and watch from a distance. Well, progress report from the field indicate that our Defenses forces have made major strides in attainment of their mission and with support from AMISON forces, it is a matter of time before Al-Shabaab and other militia groups are relegated to history. Never mind that this progress is without support from the US. Recall that in 1993 the US Defense forces attempted such a similar mission albeit with disastrous results and the thought of military intervention in Somalia gives them goose bumps.
Bear in mind that her visit comes in the wake of strengthening relations between Kenya and her trade ally China which has slowly been erasing American footprints on the investment landscape in the country. This has left a bitter taste in the mouths of US government officials, no wonder we get treated to unsolicited visitations carrying footnote opinion that has no value to the common mwananchi. Not that Chinese are better than Americans but sometimes when you interact with the devil himself, his agents appear to mirror an image of benevolence.
To these end, the US government should understand that a sizable majority of the citizenry know what they want and are tirelessly working towards building institutions and capacities that guarantees peaceful coexistence with one another. Therefore we abhor unsolicited “advices” which border on interference in our internal affairs as a state.
The writer is a Lawyer