21 February 2018

Kenya: I'm Only Interested in Kenya's Progress, Not Politics - Godec

Photo: Nairobi News
President Trump greets Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at the 43rd G7 Summit in Italy.

United States Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec has dismissed claims by the opposition Nasa that he is meddling in the country's political affairs.

Speaking Wednesday when he met Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis at his office in Kabarnet, Mr Godec said he is only interested in ensuring that the two countries work together in developing Kenya.

"We have no reason to meddle with Kenyan politics. Our mission here is to partner with this country to spur development, nothing else," said Mr Godec.

Recently, Nasa leader Raila Odinga had asked the US ambassador and 10 other envoys to keep off Kenyan affairs.

The opposition leader accused the envoys of failing to address issues of electoral justice.

RECOGNISE UHURU

This was after ambassadors of foreign countries working in Kenya asked the opposition to recognise President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto as having been legitimately elected in the October 26, 2017 repeat election.

Mr Odinga termed the envoys as "hypocrites who are hiding behind so-called democracy" to advance the business interests of their nations.

"Those envoys are hypocrites. Stop interfering with our business in a colonial way. We will not accept to be colonised again," Mr Odinga said.

PEACE IN NORTH RIFT

In his address to journalists on Wednesday in Kabarnet, Mr Godec also called on the national and county governments to ensure they restore peace in areas hit by the rampant insecurity so as to allow for development.

"No meaningful development can be achieved in the insecurity-prone areas. We are calling on the national and county governments to bring normalcy in areas affected because it has been a challenge in initiating development projects in those places," said Mr Godec.

He announced the United States is rolling out development projects worth Sh100 billion in Kenya.

He also said that rampant corruption is paralysing development in Kenya, noting that it must be put to a stop for Kenyans to get the services they deserve.

"Corruption is another impediment to development in this country. It must be put to a stop for Kenyans to receive services," he added.

The diplomat is a on a two-day tour of Baringo and is expected to inspect projects implemented in a partnership between Baringo County and the US government.

IMPROVE LIVELIHOODS

Speaking earlier in West Pokot when he met Governor John Lonyangapuo, Mr Godec promised that the US will partner with the county government and non-governmental organisations to improve the living standards of residents.

The ambassador said the US government will focus on health, education and agriculture.

Speaking after touring various projects funded by the US, Mr Godec said that the three sectors are the backbone of Kenya's economy and there is need to boost them.

Prof Lonyangapuo said the partnership will help improve the economy of the North Rift.

The governor said most of the counties in the region are faced with various challenges especially in the health and education sectors.

He said residents are forced to walk for long distances to hospitals and the partnership will see locals getting services nearer their homes.

"We still need more help from other donors and organisations to enable us meet the World Health Organisation's standards," he said.

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