The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Kimemia Acted Alone On U.S. Memo

THE alleged plot by the United States to topple the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta was not on the agenda of the National Security Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday, according to insider sources.

The seven person committee focused mainly on internal security issues and did not specifically discuss how the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) planned to topple Uhuru using activists.

The sources said Cabinet Secretary Francis Kimemia sent out the statement unilaterally following the Wednesday meeting at Harambee House.

The statement from NSAC chairman Kimemia asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to "urgently summon USAID officials with immediate effect to give more information over its plans to topple the government."

"NSAC is in possession of credible intelligent documents and information detailing how the US donor agency has consistently funded the demonstrations by activists, including demos clandestinely planned and funded," the statement by Kimemia said.

The NSAC committee consists of the Inspector General of Police, the CID Director, the NIS director, the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs PS, Immigration PS, Interior PS, Kenya Wildlife Service director, or their representatives.

The NSAC can be as few as seven but other officials can be invited where necessary. Reports from NSAC go to the Interior Secretary for the Cabinet to consider as its security docket.

NSAC is the second highest security committee and is below the National Security Committee which is the heavyweight intelligence organ.

The NSC is chaired by the President and includes the Chief of Defence Forces and the Director General of the Ntional Intellgience Service. Its proceedings are normally highly confidential.

Sources who attended the Wednesday NSAC meeting told the Star that USAID was not on the agenda, nor was it discussed. "I can tell you for sure that it was not part of the main agenda nor did it come up as AOB," said one source.

An initial release by Kimemia through social media was replaced later on Thursday by a better written version on a government letterhead.

On Thursday, the Cabinet met at State House but did not discuss the allegations against USAID. The security issues arising from the NSAC meeting touched on how to invest in security infrastructure through housing, offices, security installations and training facilities. The government wants to construct 18,000 housing and building units for the National Police Service.

The Cabinet also agreed to lease 1,500 motor vehicles and three aircraft and other security equipment per year to boost security. A motor vehicle fleet management system and a technology-based border surveillance and control system will also be put in place.

American ambassador Robert Godec rejected Kimemia's allegations on Thursday. "Allegations, including those in the February 12 statement by the National Security Advisory Committee, that the Government of the United States seeks to "undermine" or "destabilize" the Government of Kenya are false," he said.

Godec said the US works with both government and civil society on security, health, education, conflict prevention, agriculture, and other areas.

"The government of the United States, including the USAID coordinates its activities in Kenya in a transparent manner and in collaboration with the government of Kenya. We have always and will continue to share information about our programs with the Kenyan government," he said.

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