News 2008


Wetangula Reacts to British Envoy Claim

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

15 February 2008

Abiya Ochola


The Government has reacted sharply to remarks by British High Commissioner that President Kibaki's administration does not reflect the democratic will of Kenyans.

Foreign Affairs minister, Mr Moses Wetangula, termed the remarks by Mr Adam Wood as a breach of diplomatic etiquette.

"While we have acted with restraint, continued provocation will not be tolerated further and the Government will not hesitate to take appropriate remedial measures."

Wetangula, however, declined to specify the appropriate measures to be meted against the diplomat or Britain. "The High Commissioner is still hell bent to wreck the boat," Wetangula said in a statement.

Wood said in an interview on KTN that the Government did not reflect the democratic will of the Kenyan people.

In the interview on Tuesday night, Wood, asked if Britain recognised Kibaki, said: "Formally we recognise States, not governments. The minister, speaking in the House of Commons recently, was representing our view after the irregularities in the presidential polls that were documented by local and foreign election monitors".

Earlier, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Ms Meg Munn, had told the House of Commons that the UK did not recognise Kibaki's presidency.

Relations between Britain and Kenya's political elite have swung between cordial and frosty depending on the issues at hand.

But after Britain, a former colonial master, joined ranks with the EU in declaring that Kibaki's re-election was a subject of contention after its observer team unearthed irregularities, any statements by Wood have received threats from Government, including his expulsion from the country.

His predecessor, Sir Edward Clay, has been declared persona non grata in Kenya.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Ms Martha Karua, has accused envoys from western nations of acting like colonial governors in their relations with Kenya.