In Summary
  • Mr Mudavadi narrowed down to Mr Robert Godec, the US ambassador, and UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey.
  • The envoys also tried to intervene as the opposition escalated its demands for “irreducible minimums” before the repeat election.

Nasa’s claim that the electoral commission was being influenced by foreign envoys in the run-up to the repeat election marks the further deterioration of relations between the coalition’s leadership and Western countries.

The allegation is contained in the opposition’s response to a petition filed at the Supreme Court by activists challenging the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and its accompanying affidavit by the coalition’s co-principal Musalia Mudavadi.

Mr Mudavadi said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its chairman Wafula Chebukati “also fell under the improper influence of various foreign envoys”.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s chief agent then narrowed down to Mr Robert Godec, the US ambassador, and UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey.

He said they “on many occasions acted as the public relations officers of Mr Chebukati and the IEBC”.

Nasa’s assertion was that even after Mr Chebukati’s statement on October 18 that the circumstances in place could not enable him to conduct a credible election, the envoys insisted the repeat poll had to happen.

Nasa pointed out that two days after Mr Chebukati made this admission, the envoys stated that they believed IEBC could still carry out a good election and it was on that basis that the election was held.

The coalition’s attacks on the envoys came just days after Mr Odinga told an audience in Washington DC that Mr Godec needed help from other arms of the US government in engaging with Kenya.

He was frustrated with the envoys in Nairobi, he said, and asserted that they had sometimes contributed to the crisis.

On Monday, Ford-Kenya deputy party leader Boni Khalwale argued that Mr Odinga’s push for a more robust and direct engagement of the western nations was in search of neutrality that he said was becoming elusive in the Kenyan democratic space.

“We are just re-affirming the fact that either those western envoys do not understand what is going on or have deliberately decided to take sides, irrespective of the truth,” Dr Khalwale, a member of the Nasa coordinating committee, said.

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