News 2008


Fury over UK envoy’s remarks

Daily Nation


14. Feb. 2008

A diplomatic row is brewing between Kenya and the United Kingdom following a statement by High Commissioner Adam Wood that the Government, as currently constituted, did not reflect the wishes of Kenyans.

Kenya said Wednesday it would not tolerate such provocations any further and hinted that it would take ‘‘remedial measures’’ against the high commissioner over his remarks.

Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula said the remarks, which were made during an interview on a local television station on Tuesday, were in total disregard of diplomatic etiquette.

Terse statement

In a terse statement, Mr Wetangula said: “While we have acted with restraint, continued provocation will not be tolerated further and the Government will not hesitate to take appropriate remedial measures.”

Said the minister: “The Government is watching closely his remarks, which are in total disregard of diplomatic etiquette.”

The statement from the high commissioner comes even after Mr Mark Malloch-Brown - the UK minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office responsible for Africa, Asia and the UN - recently visited the country to reaffirm the strong historical ties that existed between the two countries. Said Mr Wetangula: “Despite these efforts, the high commissioner is still hell-bent to wreck the boat.”

Established procedures

The minister said as an accredited envoy, Mr Wood should have known better the established procedures of dealing with such matters.

Mr Wetangula said the Government, as currently constituted, does not need a stamp from the British authorities to reflect the will of Kenyans.

Meanwhile, the Orange Democratic Movement wants the African Union to deploy peace-keeping forces in the country if the Kofi Annan mediated talks fail.

On Wednesday, ODM treasurer Omingo Magara said his party was optimistic the dialogue between it and PNU will help restore peace and stability in the country.

‘‘(Mr) Annan should be able to resolve the political crisis in the country. If not, we should be prepared for anything,” Mr Magara said.