Viewing cable 08NAIROBI312, KENYA: A/S FRAZER,S MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT KIBAKI
DE RUEHNR #0312/01 0291447
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291447Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4470
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 9855
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5751
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 5074
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2589
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1858
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2619
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2553
RUCQSOC/USCINCSOC MACDILL AFB FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 NAIROBI 000312
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM KE
SUBJECT: KENYA: A/S FRAZER,S MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT KIBAKI
JANUARY 5 AND 7
Classified By: Ambassador Ranneberger, reasons 1.4 (b,d)
¶1. (C) Summary: Assistant Secretary Frazer, joined by Ambassador Ranneberger, met with President Mwai Kibaki on January 5 and January 7 to seek a path towards ending the political crisis stemming from the disputed December 27 presidential election results. She carried with her Secretary Rice’s message of an end to the violence and an agreement to dialogue among the principals in the electoral dispute for a political resolution. In both meetings, Kibaki was fully engaged and in control of his meeting, though members of his team comfortably voiced divergent viewpoints. In the January 5 meeting, Kibaki and his team focused on the need to end the post-election violence and their fear that Kikuyus were specifically being targeted. In the January 7 meeting, Kibaki was put on the defensive by A/S Frazer who sought an explanation and remedy for his naming of a partial cabinet on the eve of the African Union Chairman and Ghanaian President John Kufuor’s arrival to facilitate talks between he and Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Party (ODM).
¶2. (C) During both meetings, Kibaki said the right things in condemning violence and being open to dialogue to end the political crisis. Furthermore, Kibaki agreed in principle to forming a government of national unity and reconstituting his cabinet following talks with Odinga. However, his subsequent actions clearly suggested that he and his team were also moving towards consolidating power and that dialogue with Odinga was perhaps a fallback plan in whatever political strategy they had to end the political crisis. End Summary.
¶3. (C) During A/S Frazer,s mission to Kenya from January 4-11, she met with President Kibaki twice, on January 5 and 7, to reinforce the message from Washington: entering into dialogue with Odinga to find a political resolution to the current crisis is the way forward and an end to all violence on all sides is paramount. A/S Frazer pointed out that Kenyans had come out en masse to vote and largely did so peacefully in a process that appeared to be clean, up to the point of vote tallying. She emphasized that there were clearly problems with the vote count and this should be acknowledged and addressed by Kibaki in the interest of helping to heal divisions in the country. She reminded Kibaki of the more conciliatory tone he struck during his first address to the nation, which acknowledged that Kenyans had voted across the spectrum and which was a basis from which reconciliation could be built upon. A/S Frazer argued that political dialogue is the most viable way out of the current crisis as Kenyan courts are not considered impartial by ODM.
¶4. (C) While Kibaki repeatedly said in both meetings he was open to political dialogue, his position was quite clear: he won the election fairly; if ODM has concerns about the outcome they should take their complaints to court because once the Electoral Commission of Kenya makes a call on elections the courts are the sole constitutional remedy (and his government would obey their ruling, Kibaki said); and ODM is to blame for post-election fighting and it is orchestrating an organized campaign of violence.
¶5. (C) Kibaki emphasized that the real problem at hand from his government’s perspective is not the controversial presidential election result but the violence that has ensued, and he said ending it was their primary focus. Kibaki pushed the point that Odinga and other ODM leaders need to come out and call for an end to the violence.
¶6. (C) Martha Karua, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and clearly one of the hardliners in Kibaki’s inner circle, attended the January 5 meeting (joined by then Foreign Minister Raphael Tuju, Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi, and Advisor Stanley Murage) during which she conceded that while some of the post-election violence may have been spontaneous, for the most part it has been pre-planned, she said. Kibaki echoed this point arguing that the youth are being paid to commit such acts. Tuju, a Luo, contended that ODM supporters were specifically targeting the Kikuyu, whom he said have exercised a lot of restraint up to now, suggesting that they could retaliate especially in areas like Nairobi where they are a majority, as Karua pointed out. Kibaki and his team emphasized they would not kowtow to the violence, which they consider ODM is using as “blackmail.” Mwangi recounted how he had to send a vehicle to Eldoret to rescue members of his family from the violence in that area. He claimed the post-electoral violence had been instigated by ODM and that it would have “unleashed” such violence even if it had won the election because of its desire for “majimbo” — the idea of decentralized governance with the connotation that major ethnic groups will govern autonomously over their own regions.
¶7. (C) A/S Frazer stressed that the USG condemned all violence and promised to continue to push the issue with ODM to call an end to it. She, however, asked Kibaki to demonstrate leadership by engaging with Raila in dialogue even in these difficult times; if former Presidents Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk of South Africa could do it after years of violence, distrust, and political struggle in South Africa, surely he and Raila could do the same to move Kenya forward. After all, they have worked together in the past and they do know each other, perhaps too well, she added. A/S Frazer noted there were failures in leadership on both sides — that Raila should reign in those committing violence and that Kibaki should come out with a statement acknowledging electoral problems.
¶8. (C) A/S Frazer asked that Kibaki and Raila issue separate statements condemning violence, acknowledging there were real problems with the elections, and agreeing to dialogue (initially a joint statement was proposed and Kibaki was unopposed to it, but Karua and Tuju nixed the idea arguing that it would give the appearance of a “co-presidency.”); the statements would help heal and normalize the country*the most immediate need*and are exclusive of the issue of how the parties will actually come to a political arrangement on governance, A/S Frazer explained. While Kibaki expressed doubt that Raila truly wanted peace and said he was a man who spoke in “two languages” — something he saw as a significant obstacle to dialogue — he agreed to issue a statement, but never did. However, almost immediately after the January 5 meeting, the Presidential Press Service issued a statement that said the government was open to dialogue and forming a government of national unity.
¶9. (C) On the eve of President Kufuor’s arrival in Kenya to help facilitate talks between Kibaki and Odinga, Kibaki announced on January 7 the appointment of eight key cabinet members. A/S Frazer met with him that evening to express great disappointment and surprise at such action, particularly on the day before expected talks between ODM and PNU. She said the cabinet appointments were preemptive, that it seemed like Kibaki was taking the issue of cabinet positions off the negotiating table and was prepared to exclude ODM from any kind of coalition government, and that the USG was seriously considering denouncing the government should Kibaki not take remedial action. A/S Frazer also took Kibaki to task for not issuing the statement on vote tallying irregularities while noting that Odinga had honored his commitment to condemn violence and call off rallies given current political tensions.
¶10. (C) Kibaki argued that he was not preempting talks and that he only announced the partial cabinet to keep the government running — that it was only “logical” to do so, he said. Logical as it may be, the timing in naming a cabinet was bad faith, A/S Frazer told Kibaki. In the end, Kibaki said that he was open to changing cabinet positions if this was decided during talks with ODM, along with having the talks deal with a broader range of issues such as electoral and institutional reform. After intense negotiations with Kibaki and his team, it was agreed that Kibaki would issue a statement explaining why he appointed a cabinet when he did, clarifying that the cabinet was subject to change pending outcome of talks with ODM, and noting that nothing would be ruled out in these discussions. Francis Muthaura, Secretary to the Cabinet, and the newly appointed Foreign Minister Wetengula fought the idea of issuing a public statement clarifying the cabinet position appointment, but Kibaki was decisive in wanting it done; the statement was issued the following day.
¶11. (C) Comment: Kibaki and his team are fixated on the post-election violence and fail to truly own up to the fact that the flawed election results were the impetus to the crisis. They seem almost oblivious to the vote tallying problems, treating it as a minor detail that can be brushed aside and dealt with through legal means. Kibaki seemed reasonable and could be influenced with a well-argued point; members of his team, like Martha Karua, were clearly more hardline in their positions and do not seem truly interested in dialogue with ODM. Distrust of ODM was very evident in statements by both Kibaki and members of his team during these conversations. While Kibaki and his team are quite dismissive of ODM protests about the problems with the elections, the fact that Kibaki is open to dialogue with Raila suggests he has not completely bought into PNU’s narrative that they won the presidential elections fair and square; there may be hope yet that Kibaki will assert leadership to pursue a political solution with ODM. End Comment.
¶12. (U) This cable has been cleared by Assistant Secretary Frazer.
Viewing cable 09NAIROBI1171, A PORTRAIT OF AL-SHABAAB RECRUITMENT IN KENYA
DE RUEHNR #1171/01 1621431
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111431Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9802
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 6572
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3213
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3084
RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUZEFAA/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 NAIROBI 001171
AF/E:SUSAN DRIANO; INR:MOZELLA BROWN; S/CT:ZACHARY
ROTHSCHILD; S/CRS:NADIA BLACKTON
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/07/2019
TAGS: PTER PREL SOCI PGOV KE SO
SUBJECT: A PORTRAIT OF AL-SHABAAB RECRUITMENT IN KENYA
Classified By: Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, reasons 1.4 b,d
¶1. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) There are a number of factors that make Kenya a fruitful source for recruiting young men to join such extremist groups as the Somalia-based al-Shabaab militia. While we have been focused on Nairobi’s Eastleigh suburb and the North East Province as particular areas of concern, new information indicates that al-Shabaab recruitment efforts may have also reached Isiolo, located in Kenya’s geographic center. An Isiolo businessman claims that 60 young Kenyan Somali men have disappeared from Isiolo since January 2008 to fight in Somalia, and that two he knew personally recently died while conducting suicide bomb attacks in Mogadishu. Recruitment in Isiolo, he said, is directed from a radical mosque in Eastleigh but carried out by members of four radical mosques around Isiolo. Parents of these missing youth are grieving in private but are afraid of speaking out, he said. Even if the Kenyan Government becomes actively involved in rooting out the recruitment network, there are no easy answers to this problem. We will continue to actively explore ways the United States can be of assistance. End Summary.
Kenya: A Good Source of Recruits
¶2. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) There are a number of factors that make Kenya a fruitful source for recruiting young men to join such extremist groups as the Somalia-based al-Shabaab militia. Kenya’s close proximity to Somalia, its sizeable population of ethnic Somalis, high levels of poverty and unemployment, a history of poor governance, and a worrisome youth bulge all contribute to the risk factors. Kenya’s ethnic Somali population in particular suffer from lower levels of development and education than their fellow Kenyans. Idle, unemployed youth are at particular risk. The continuing legacy of the Shifta Wars in the 1960s, certainly a contributing factor to Kenyan Somalis’ lower level of development, also leaves them feeling like outsiders in their country of birth. We have focused our attention for some time on Eastleigh, a well-known Somali-majority suburb of Nairobi, and the North Eastern Province, which directly borders Somalia, as possible recruitment locations. We also have reason to believe that some limited recruitment by al-Shabaab has occurred in Dadaab refugee camp (septel).
¶3. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) New information indicates, however, that al-Shabaab recruitment efforts also have reached Isiolo. Located in Kenya’s geographic center, Isiolo has a mixed population but was originally settled during the colonial period by members of the Isaq and Harti clans from Somaliland who fought for the British in the First World War. The area has become a center for cattle rustling and is awash in small arms (septel). As in Muslim majority areas (Coast Province and North Eastern Province) and other urban areas throughout the country, traditionally moderate, pro-establishment Sufi mosques have gradually been overtaken by more activist, sometimes extremist, Wahhabi-led institutions whose clerics bring much-needed cash into the Isiolo area. These Wahhabist clerics may have direct links with radical mosques in Eastleigh, and may be acting as recruitment agents for extremist groups in Somalia.
¶4. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) As the battle in Somalia becomes more clan-based and Somalis increasingly join clan-based militias instead of al-Shabaab, some have postulated that al-Shabaab is increasingly in need of foreign fighters to keep up its numbers. Frustrated and aimless Kenyan Somali youth, therefore, are a prime target. In Isiolo, this recruitment effort is reportedly targeted specifically at members of the Somali Isaq and Harti clans.
Residents Concerned in Isiolo
¶5. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) On June 3, an Isiolo-based Kenyan Somali businessman told PolOff that he was extremely worried about the Islamic extremists’ reach into Isiolo and what it means for his family and his home. Since January 2008, 60 youth have gone missing from Isiolo, he said, presumably to fight in Somalia. Two suicide bombers who recently struck in Mogadishu were from Isiolo, he claimed, and the businessman said that he knew the boys personally.
¶6. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) The businessman said that the first suicide bomber — a friend of XXXXXXXXXXXX — was a 25-year-old man named Tawakhal Ahmed. Ahmed, he claimed, was responsible for the February 22 bombing of the African Union compound in Mogadishu (a blast that killed 11 Burundian peacekeepers and injured 15 others). Ahmed was originally recruited in 2006 to fight in Somalia against the Ethiopian occupying forces after getting involved with a Wahhabi mosque. According to the businessman, Ahmed grew his beard, found religion, came into good money, and disappeared into Somalia to fight the jihad. When he came back, Ahmed reportedly told the businessman how he had travelled to Somalia: the journey started at the Garissa Lodge in Eastleigh, then four to five boys at a time would go on a bus to Doble and onto Kismayo, where they trained in a camp for three weeks. After that, recruits received mobile phones, which is how they subsequently received their orders. When the Islamic Courts Union fell in late 2006, they reassembled in Doble and Ahmed returned to Kenya, but not before his commanders destroyed his (and others’) mobile phones, which had sensitive numbers programmed in them. On Ahmed’s return, the businessman said that he tried to convince Ahmed that Somalia was not his war and that he should stay home. By that time, Ahmed agreed and said that he wanted to get married and start a madrassa (Islamic religious school) in Isiolo. However, a few months ago, the men from Isiolo’s radical mosques returned with some men from Eastleigh to re-recruit Ahmed, the businessman said. The men from Eastleigh gave Ahmed USD 6,000, which Ahmed in turn distributed among his relatives and friends. After a three-day prayer ritual, Ahmed left once again for Somalia, this time to carry out the February 22 suicide bombing.
¶7. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) The businessman said that the second local man was named Yusuf Mohammed Warsame, who was 25 or 26 years old and who, like Ahmed, finished secondary school in Isiolo. The businessman said that he did not know when Warsame left for Somalia, but claimed that he was responsible for the May 24 suicide bombing in Mogadishu. (Note: The May 24 blast killed 10 people, including six soldiers, but an al-Shabaab spokesman has claimed that the bomber was a Somali, not a foreign fighter. End Note.)
¶8. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) The businessman said that four Isiolo area mosques have been taken over by radical Islamists who are not originally from Isiolo and are being used as underground recruiting centers for al-Shabaab. The mosques are: Masjid Hidaya and the County Council Mosque, both in Isiolo Town; Masjid Noor in Bula Besa; and Masjid Taqwa in Bula Oda. The businessman said that these mosques act as satellites of Eastleigh’s Sixth Street Mosque, which directs recruitment operations. (Note: Isiolo’s most prominent mosque, the Grand Mosque, is run by a moderate imam who has presided over the mosque for years and has resisted the overtures of Wahhabist clerics. The businessman opined that the radicals may be waiting for the imam to pass away before they make their move for the Grand Mosque. End Note.)
¶9. (C//REL TO USA, GBR//) The businessman expressed frustration at what he perceived as a lack of concern or follow-up by Kenyan officials, with whom he has already shared these concerns. (Note: He claimed that he had spoken with Isiolo’s District Commissioner, Isiolo’s Member of Parliament, and representatives of the National Security Intelligence Service to no avail, which is why he approached the Embassy. End Note.) He said that he has been following up on the stories of missing children himself, as he is frequently accosted by family members who tell him that they have not seen their sons. Parents who lose their children mourn in private, and are afraid to speak out about what is happening. One mother, he said, actually travelled to Kismayo, Somalia to look for her missing 12-year-old son and she found him in a training camp. The son reportedly told her to return to Isiolo and leave him there, or else she would be killed by the camp organizers. Concerns from Other Interlocutors
¶10. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) While it would be difficult for us to confirm that the two men from Isiolo are indeed the suicide bombers responsible for attacks in Mogadishu, the story of the recruitment process and the disappearance of young men is plausible and matches concerns reported by Kenyan District Child Protection Officers from Nairobi and Garissa to UNICEF’s Kenya office.
¶11. (C//REL TO USA, KEN, GBR//) Comment: If true, the reports about a possible al-Shabaab recruitment network that reaches all the way to Isiolo is disturbing. There are no easy answers to this problem, even if there were Government of Kenya involvement. To date, much of U.S. counter-terror support has focused on helping to secure Kenya’s borders: we are providing assistance to Kenya’s army to help them better react to major security incidents along the porous Kenya-Somali border and we are initiating a program to help the Administration Police and Wildlife Service to provide the first line of security along the border according to their mandate. In the maritime arena, we provide support to the Navy and the Maritime Police Unit to better police Kenya’s territorial waters. We also work with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and the Kenya Airports Authority to enhance aviation safety and security throughout the country. Recently, however, USAID began a youth employment/youth inclusion program in Garissa with 1207 funding specifically aimed at reducing the vulnerability to recruitment of young Kenyan Somalis. We hope that it can serve as a model for reaching Kenyan Somalis and youth who are at risk in other areas of Kenya as well. We will continue to follow up on the recruitment issue and explore other ways the United States can be of assistance. End Comment.
Viewing cable 08ADDISABABA286, ETHIOPIA: ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER AND PRIME MINISTER MELES DISCUSS KENYA, SUDAN, SOMALIA, AND ERITREA
DE RUEHDS #0286/01 0370754
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P 060754Z FEB 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9435
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
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RHMFISS/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 ADDIS ABABA 000286
DEPARTMENT FOR AF AND AF/E , AND INR/AA
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER
CJTF-HOA AND USCENTCOM FOR POLAD
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/01/2018
TAGS: PREL PBTS PNAT MOPS KPKO ET ER SO SU KE
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER AND PRIME
MINISTER MELES DISCUSS KENYA, SUDAN, SOMALIA, AND ERITREA
Classified By: Ambassador Donald Yamamoto for Reasons: 1.4 (B) and (D).
¶1. (C/NF) SUMMARY. On January 31, Assistant Secretary Frazer met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in a broad ranging 100 minute discussion on Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, and the Eritrean border. Also in attendance were Ambassador Yamamoto, Ambassador Courville, Sudan S/E Williamson, AF/SPG Director Lauren Landis, and notetakers. A/S Frazer opened by noting that Kenya is in a dangerous position, but that both President Kibaki and Raila Odinga have the potential to reach a settlement. Meles assessed that both sides were playing hardball and that the international community should place greater pressure on the opposition to reign in the violence. Meles said the key challenge in Sudan was to manage the North-South tension to avoid a meltdown in 2011. Regarding Somalia, Meles said that his government had developed a three track approach to be presented to President Yusuf on Yusuf’s return from London. First, Meles said he hoped Ethiopian troops would withdraw from Somalia by summer to be replaced by African Union and newly trained Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces. Second, his government would reach out to the opposition within Somalia, and third, his government would reach out to the external opposition. On Somaliland, A/S Frazer and Meles agreed that they were not opposed to formal recognition, but that the African Union should take the lead. Meles said that Ethiopia would not drop out of the Algiers Peace Accord process and that sufficient changes had been made in UNSC resolution 1798, but he added that the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s (EEBC) “virtual demarcation” decision should not be supported by the UN. Lastly, Meles said the United Nation’s Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) could move in its entirety to Ethiopia if UNMEE was forced out of Eritrea. END SUMMARY.
KENYA IS IN A DANGEROUS POSITION
¶2. (C/NF) The meeting opened with an hour-long tour d’horizon on the repercussions of the Kenyan elections. Assistant Secretary Frazer began the discussion by noting that Kenya is a dangerous situation, and not just as a local or national problem, but also an international concern in light of the terrorist presence in Kenya that might seek to exploit the situation for their benefit. A/S Frazer said that she thinks both Kibaki and Odinga have the potential to be reasonable and reach a settlement. A/S Frazer noted that the impact of the violence includes the loss of foreign business and investment, as well as the loss of the U.S. Peace Corps presence.
¶3. (C/NF) Meles said that he feels that both sides are playing hardball, and agreed that the situation is very dangerous. Meles said he was not sure what happened with the elections, but feels that Kibaki had been more accommodating in the beginning and has hardened his position as the situation has developed. A/S Frazer responded that the hardening of Kibaki,s position is because of the post-election violence. Kibaki saw Odinga as responsible for the violence and felt that he could not trust Odinga, which caused him to harden his position. However, A/S Frazer said that Kibaki may be in a better position to bring stability to the situation. Kibaki has the power of the state behind him and is the only decision-maker on his side, while Odinga is one of five making the decisions. Odinga is probably the most reasonable of the five, but he is constrained by the hard-liners within his coalition. For example, William Ruto presents one face to the international community, but then turns and uses the radio to incite violence.
¶4. (C/NF) Meles opined that the opposition has been given a free ride; all the pressure has been on President Kibaki, not the opposition, even though they are responsible for most of the violence. This is giving the wrong message to the opposition. Kibaki,s government, even if it has not made good decisions, has not incited violence. A/S Frazer noted that it is difficult to have leverage over the opposition, since the natural leverage of a government is over another government, rather than an opposition group. The United States is advocating a message of accountability on all sides, both government and opposition. A/S Frazer noted that some Kikuyu politicians are beginning to use the Mungiki militia to retaliate against the violence carried out by the opposition.
¶5. (C/NF) Meles noted that the opposition used the perception that the government had stolen the election to incite violence, but the main violence and victims of attacks were in the rural areas, not the capital. Meles said that “none of us spoke strongly enough against the ethnic cleansing” that was taking place in the rural areas. Now the “Kikuyu establishment” is using militias, such as the Mungiki, to retaliate in a “payback period.” It has to be made clear to the Kikuyu establishment that ethnic cleansing is unacceptable as a response to the violence and that they cannot “fight fire with fire” or use militias to fight on their behalf.
¶6. (C/NF) A/S Frazer responded that the U.S. message is the same: ethnic cleansing is unacceptable and all sides must be held accountable for the violence. However, A/S Frazer noted that this is difficult because Odinga is an excellent communicator and very good at playing the victim and the media love the concept of the “good guy” versus the “bad guy.” A/S Frazer said that she feels that the situation must be resolved quickly, particularly before the U.S. Congress and UN Security Council come back into session and begin to focus on Kenya, when the challenge will be to fight a battle against overreaction. A/S Frazer emphasized that the U.S. focus is on the process led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and that the United States will follow Annan,s direction. Following Annan,s lead will also help keep the U.S. Congress from overreacting to the situation. The key is a negotiated political agreement, which will then influence the international response.
¶7. (C/NF) A/S Frazer said that it appears that Kibaki is trying to consolidate power, while Odinga wants to internationalize the conflict and maintain a state of crisis. There is a danger that the situation could lead to civil war. A/S Frazer noted that Secretary Rice had recently spoken with Annan, and Annan mentioned that he had suggested to Kibaki that he bring the military out in a limited way, but that Kibaki demurred based on concerns regarding ethnic divisions within the military. If the ethnic divisions become more pronounced because of the violence, A/S Frazer expressed her concern that it could lead to a coup d,etat. The Kikuyu response could lead to civil war, as many Kikuyu fundamentally don’t believe that the election was stolen and are incensed by the violence that the opposition is encouraging.
¶8. (C/NF) Unfortunately, Meles responded, the international reaction thus far does not inspire moderation. The EU response of cutting off assistance gives the message that Kibaki is the “bad guy” and does not push Odinga or his group to moderate their positions. While the military may not quit, they will not be monolithically behind Kibaki, which is why some Kikuyu are turning to the militia instead. The “single-minded focus on Kibaki” is not productive for a peaceful settlement and will only entrench hard-liners on both sides. Meles said that a more balanced approach is needed to encourage a peaceful process.
¶9. (C/NF) A/S Frazer said that she personally believes that Kibaki could change the dynamics single-handedly overnight with a public address that is not defensive but a true “Mandela moment.” Until this point, Kibaki has been “stage managing” his presidency, but needs to be more substantive in his messages to the people. Kibaki must also control his supporters, some of whom have tried to undermine his positive efforts towards compromise. A/S Frazer noted that the opposition prefers the term coalition to government of national unity, which they already tried in the past and did not work. A/S Frazer also opined that the government could improve the situation by lifting the restrictions on the media and asked the media to behave responsibly, which could have the effect of making the opposition look very small in comparison.
¶10. (C/NF) Meles agreed that Kibaki is not violent by nature, but has only been going after the foot soldiers, not the organizers of the violence on the Kikuyu side. Meles believes this is because Kibaki can only rely on a “100 percent Kikuyu institution” that includes the “bosses” that have organized the Kikuyu-led violence. This puts Kibaki into a dangerous situation if he reaches out to the opposition without guarantees that they will respond positively. A/S Frazer responded by noting that Odinga,s heart is not in violence and would be likely to accept a compromise. However, it is not clear what kind of deal he might agree to take. But by reaching out, A/S Frazer said, Kibaki could place the media pressure on Odinga to agree, rather than keep it on himself.
¶11. (C/NF) Meles said that it would be helpful for the United States, in coordination with the EU, to speak to both the opposition and key Kikuyu figures in clear terms regarding accountability for the violence. Meles said that he planned to meet with Kibaki at the AU Summit during an IGAD meeting on the margins of the Summit. Meles emphasized Ethiopia’s direct stake in the situation in Kenya and that Ethiopia “cannot sit idly by” or afford further instability in Kenya that could impact the broader region. While “we should not pour oil on fire, we must understand where Kibaki is coming from, and that he has to be seen to defend Kikuyu interests” and keep his Kikuyu base. Meles promised to follow-up via Ambassador Yamamoto following the IGAD meeting.
SUDAN TO REMAIN TENSE FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE
¶23. (U) A/S Frazer cleared this cable.
Viewing cable 05NAIROBI4559, KENYA PURSUING PURCHASE OF F5′S FROM SAUDI ARABIA
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 004559
PM/RSAT FOR BERNETA LEE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/18/2025
TAGS: MARR PTER MASS PREL KE
SUBJECT: KENYA PURSUING PURCHASE OF F5′S FROM SAUDI ARABIA
REF: A. A) 04 SECSTATE 206331
¶B. B) NAIROBI 4428 C) NAIROBI 4462
Classified By: POL/C Michael J. Fitzpatrick, reasons 1.4 (b,d)
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Post has received Kenyan End-Use Monitoring (EUM) Assurances for a pending purchase of 14 used F-5 aircraft from Saudi Arabia. In separate meetings with the Permanent Secretaries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Ambassador and DCM addressed concerns surrounding the impending purchase, particularly inappropriateness of fighters in countering the primary threat (terrorism) that Kenya faces; possible corruption in the sale; the drain on Kenyan military budgets; and the opportunity costs likely to be incurred by the U.S. in helping maintain them — assuming, that is, that FMF and IMET are re-established if/when Kenya signs an Article 98 agreement.
¶2. (C) Despite our misgivings, we recognize that this is a sovereign decision, one which the Kenyans appear to have weighed with some care. We do not believe it is in our interest to oppose this purchase. END SUMMARY.
A Long Time In The Making
¶2. (C) The GOK first proposed this purchase in 2004. In November of 2004, Poloff gave the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) a list of assurances required before the sale could be consummated (ref. A). In March 2005, Post received and forwarded to the Department a diplomatic note accompanied by a signed agreement for end-use, retransfer, and security assurances for 10 F-5E aircraft and four F-5F aircraft from Saudi Arabia to Kenya. This agreement (which was dated 28 December 2004), was signed by a former P.S. of KDOD, Sammy P.M. Kyungu. Mr. Kyungu was not the P.S. of KDOD at the time Post actually received the agreement, and thus Post requested another copy of the agreement signed by the current P.S. Almost seven months later, Post received another diplomatic note (dated October 18, 2005) and signed agreement for end-use, retransfer, and security assurances for the 10 F-5E aircraft and four F-5F aircraft (refs A and B). This agreement was signed by the current Permanent Secretary (P.S.) of the Kenyan Department of Defence (KDOD), Zachary N. Mwaura (he signed the agreement on 7 October, 2005). (Note: This final agreement incorporated the exact text Poloff originally left with the MFA on November 1, 2004. End note.) The MFA and KDOD called Post several times the week of October 24 asking the USG to provide the End User Certificates to Saudi Arabia so they can conclude this purchase.
Voicing Our Concerns
¶3. (C) Several contentious issues surround this purchase. First, post does not believe these aircraft respond to the threat. F5s are not the most appropriate aircraft to serve as an air defense/deterrent capability, and Kenya would be better off investing the money in either reconnaissance or helicopter lift assets. Second, there is concern that the original deal may be marred by corruption. The KDOD P.S. who provided the original set of assurances was sacked in an anti-corruption shake-up and was implicated in corrupt security-related procurement. Additionally, KDOD,s budget is already experiencing negative growth, and the cost for this aircraft could reach as much as $31 million, according to local press reports. Lastly, the opportunity costs are too high. Post is concerned that KDOD will be forced to seek to use significant amounts of future U.S. FMF authorizations to maintain this expanded fleet of F5s — assuming, that is, that Kenya signs an Article 98 agreement and FMF assistance once again becomes available (ref C) — which could be used more wisely.
¶4. (C) Ambassador and Poloff (note-taker) called on the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Boaz Mbaya, October 31 to discuss Kenya,s plans to purchase the 14 F5 aircraft from Saudi Arabia. Ambassador voiced his concerns about this purchase, asking the following questions: 1) How do these aircraft meet the border security challenges facing Kenya? 2) Is the GOK aware that without an Article 98 agreement, future FMF will not be available to assist in maintaining and equipping these aircraft? and 3) Can Kenya ensure this is a transparent and uncorrupt deal?
¶5. (C) In response to the first question, Mbaya explained that Kenya lives in a volatile environment, with Ethiopia and Eritrea to the north, and Sudan and Somalia on either side. While Kenya is not preparing for war, he said it is in their national interest to be prepared for any threat to their national security from these bordering countries. He assured the Ambassador that corruption is not an issue and that nobody in the Kenyan Government wants another Anglo Leasing-type scandal on their hands. He said the current F5 fleet is old and must be replaced. He understood the implications of not signing an Article 98 agreement, and that FMF (and IMET) cuts will impact this purchase, should Kenya seek assistance in maintaining and equipping the aircraft as well as training for pilots. He added he hoped the Ambassador could convince the USG to grant Saudi Arabia the end user certificates and allow Kenya to pursue their national interests.
¶6. (C) Simultaneously, DCM, accompanied by Deputy Chief of KUSLO and Poloff (note-taker), called on KDOD P.S. Zachary Mwaura to discuss the same issue. KDOD Vice Chief of the General Staff, LtGen J. W. Karangi, was also in attendance. DCM inquired how the F5s fit into Kenya,s defense strategy and why they are looking at buying these particular aircraft. She also asked about the long-term plan to keep the aircraft equipped and maintained, explaining that FMF funding will not be available to assist due to the Article 98 situation. Deputy Chief KUSLO suggested the money could be better used for other aircraft, such as lift asset aircraft. Karangi responded rather defensively that both aircraft are part of the GOK’s military plan but that the F5 purchase is a higher priority.
¶7. (C) Mwaura, who just returned from Saudi Arabia, explained that the current fleet of F5s is deteriorating, and KDOD wants to replace the fleet with the same aircraft the country has been operating for a number of years. Karangi said the F5s would maintain the status quo; they are not seeking to change their capacity. The issue of financing for spare parts and maintenance raised some concern, with both Mwaura and Karangi saying they did not see the connection between Article 98 and this purchase. The DCM explained the issue further, noting that spare parts and maintenance are costly, and the U.S. will not be able to assist until an Article 98 agreement is signed. Mwaura stated that even without assistance, Kenya will still have to defend its borders, and therefore will find a way to purchase the parts. Karangi added “There is a price to pay for national security.8 DCM asked Mwaura if there was any update on the possible signing of an Article 98 agreement. Mwaura responded negatively, saying it was now “a political matter.” Both officials took the opportunity to say that they did not see why an Article 98 agreement was necessary since there is already a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) protecting U.S. military personnel stationed in Kenya. DCM responded that an Article 98 agreement is broader and provides protection to civilian as well as military personnel.
¶8. (C) The DCM wrapped up the meeting by explaining that the Saudi government will need to resubmit their request for end-use certificates to the USG because the case had already been closed due to a lack of response from Kenya. (NOTE: The MFA did not send their end user agreements to Post until after March 1, at which point the DPM/RSAT already responded to Saudi Arabia with &Returned without Action.8 END NOTE.)
¶9. (C) COMMENT: Despite the concerns surrounding this purchase, it is not our place to stop it. This purchase is not the best use of scarce military monies, but the Kenyans have made it clear they plan to go forward with the deal. Withholding end user certificates would not benefit our bilateral relationship with Kenya. We practiced due diligence by insisting the deal be transparent and explaining we will not be able to assist in future costs associated with the purchase until an Article 98 agreement is signed. END COMMENT.
Viewing cable 06NAIROBI839, ATTORNEY GENERAL WAKO UNCONVINCING ON SEIZED COCAINE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 000839
PRETORIA FOR DEA/WAGNER
THE HAGUE FOR DEA
BOGOTA FOR DEA
LONDON FOR DEA
JUSTICE FOR OPDAT, ICITAP
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2026
TAGS: SNAR PREL PINR KCRM PGOV KE
SUBJECT: ATTORNEY GENERAL WAKO UNCONVINCING ON SEIZED
REF: A. NAIROBI 158, B. NAIROBI 511
CLASSIFIED BY AMB. WILLIAM M. BELLAMY, REASONS 1.4 (B, D)
¶1. (C) SUMMARY. Attorney General Wako offers inconsistent, unconvincing explanations of why more than one ton of cocaine held by the Government of Kenya (GOK) for over a year cannot yet be destroyed. We agree with the U.K. to give the GOK another 3 weeks to develop a credible plan before going public with our dissatisfaction. Although many have called for Wako’s resignation in recent months, President Kibaki does not have the constitutional authority to remove the Attorney General from office. END SUMMARY.
¶2. (C) U.K. High Commissioner Adam Wood, a UNODC official, and I met for over an hour February 15 with Attorney General Amos Wako and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko. The meeting was at Wako’s request. He said he was aware of international concerns about Kenya’s handling of the 2004 cocaine haul and wanted to put our minds at ease. He was also aware of our previous complaints to the Foreign Ministry on this subject, and of the Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic note requesting UN and USG assistance in disposing of the drug stockpile (ref B).
¶3. (C) Wako explained that due to a “bad law” (specifically, section 74(a) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act), the GOK could not destroy the drug stockpile until it had been exhibited to, and sampled in the presence of, all of the defendants in the case. This has already occurred for six defendants currently standing trial in Nairobi. Another key defendant, however, has just been convicted on drug charges in the Netherlands. While the Netherlands has agreed to Kenya’s request for extradition, the defendant had appealed to the Netherlands high court. The High Court is expected to decide within the next two or three weeks whether the defendant can be extradited.
¶4. (C) Wako said once the defendant is extradited, he will confront the evidence (the stockpile) and, after that, the stockpile can be disposed of. Wako was vague on how long this process might take. If, on the other hand, the Dutch High Court ruled against extradition, there would be no need to retain the stockpile.
¶5. (C) Wood and I both pressed for the GOK to at least invite in outside experts to test, measure and seal the stockpile. This could be done immediately, and without prejudice as to how and when the stockpile was eventually disposed of. Such verification was needed, we argued, to put to rest worries that the stockpile had been tampered with and possibly trafficked. Wood explained how, with shipments of cocaine showing up in London on incoming Kenya Airways flights, HMG’s patience was growing thin. I added that the GOK would soon have a serious credibility problem if it could not show that the stockpile was intact and being handled in accordance with best international practices.
¶6. (C) Unfortunately, Wako explained, it would not be a good idea to test, measure or seal the stockpile. It would undermine the prosecution’s case since it would allow the defense to argue that the State did not have confidence in its own evidence. Wood and I dismissed this argument as lacking any credibility. When pressed about whether retention of the entire stockpile was necessary throughout the trial, Wako and Tobiko were evasive. Eventually, they admitted that the stockpile could be disposed of once the prosecution rested its case.
¶7. (C) Wood and I concluded the conversation by advising Wako that we were not satisfied and would soon be in touch with the GOK again. Wood and I later agreed to await the outcome of the Dutch court case. If the GOK still had no credible plan at that time, we would consider options for going public with our concerns.
¶8. (C) COMMENT. Wako obfuscated throughout a long and somewhat confusing legal conversation. Tobiko appeared uncomfortable and intervened only to clarify points of law, although he also seemed uncertain of what he was saying at times. The bottom line is that the Kenyan authorities have been sitting on more than a ton of cocaine for more than a year, at least four consignments of cocaine have reached the U.K. from Kenya in that period, and no one in the GOK is able or willing to assert that the stockpile is intact and that a credible plan exists for measuring and disposing of it. It is significant that Police Commissioner Ali, under whose authority the cocaine is supposedly safeguarded, urged us prior to the Wako meeting to press the Attorney General hard for verification as soon as possible. Ali wants to wash his hands of the mess; for some reason, Wako does not.
¶9. (C) We have heard repeated complaints from respected figures in and out of the GOK (including Anti-Corruption Chief Justice Ringera and World Bank Director Colin Bruce) that Wako is the main obstacle to successful prosecutions of any kind in Kenya. Whether he is profiting in some way from the drug trade, protecting others who are involved in it, or is working from some other motive, we cannot tell. He may feel a degree of immunity since the constitution does not allow the President or any other authority to remove him from office. END COMMENT.
WikiLeaks Releases: Nairobi Cable No. 48: Raila Said Kibaki Cannot Appear in Public Without Medication
Viewing cable 07NAIROBI2240, OPINION LEADERS TALK POLITICS WITH AMBASSADOR CARSON
- Odinga predicted Musyoka would leave ODM-K to join Kibaki
- Musyoka: Kibaki suffered from memory loss
- Kivuitu Called Commissioners “Riggers”
- Wako encouraged U.S gov to treat suspected terorists as “non Kenyans”
DE RUEHNR #2240/01 1451035
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251035Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9958
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 9326
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5293
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 4710
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2065
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2261
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2219
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L NAIROBI 002240
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/24/2027
TAGS: PREL KDEM PINR PHUM KCOR PTER KE
SUBJECT: OPINION LEADERS TALK POLITICS WITH AMBASSADOR
REF: A. NAIROBI 220
¶B. 06 NAIROBI 4105
Classified By: Political Counselor Larry Andre for reasons
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: In a series of conversations with visiting Ambassador Johnnie Carson, opposition leaders, government officials and civil society interlocutors agreed that there was still much uncertainty surrounding the strength of Kenyan political coalitions and President Kibaki’s health, that the strength of the Electoral Commission is critical, and that there is little prospect for minimum constitutional reforms before the election. END SUMMARY.
¶2. (SBU) Visiting Ambassador Johnnie Carson met recently with a variety of Kenyan interlocutors in Nairobi to discuss developments in domestic politics. From the government, the list included Internal Security Minister John Michuki, Attorney General Amos Wako and Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Chairman Samuel Kivuitu. He also had conversations with opposition leaders and presidential hopefuls MPs Kalonzo Musyoka, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga along with General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya Reverend Mutava Musyimi. Other meetings in Nairobi with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials focused on regional issues, including Sudan and Somalia, and will be reported septel.
ODM-K: A Noisy Vehicle Without Wheels
¶3. (C) The opposition coalition Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya (ODM-K) continues to negotiate a method for choosing its presidential nominee. Between the two choices (a national primary election or consensus among the aspirants) Presidential hopeful Odinga was in favor of consensus given the challenges, both financial and political, of running a primary. On the strength of the coalition, Odinga noted that there was nothing keeping a candidate who loses the nomination from leaving ODM-K. He hinted that there was someone (rumored to be Musyoka, although Odinga did not say so) who might quit ODM-K and join the Kibaki team.
¶4. (C) Reverend Mutava Musyimi scoffed that ODM-K is not a party, but “a vehicle to power: a vehicle that is making noise, but not moving and probably has no wheels.” Musyimi explained that while Kibaki has “favored his own,” (Kikuyu tribe) he has achieved a strong record of economic growth. As such, the ODM-K’s presidential prospects via its anti-Kibaki campaign will not work. While he thought coalition politics were the future in Kenya, and that ODM-K would be good for Kenya, he argued that the parties needed to move beyond coalitions viewed simply as a method for cobbling together various ethnicities. Uhuru Kenyatta was unwilling to speculate on ODM-K’s future. “Your guess is as good as mine,” he said, adding that the key would be a free and fair primary. Kenyatta was adamant that ODM-K is only an umbrella organization, and that KANU remains his party.
¶5. (C) Buoyed by recent poll results which showed him overtaking Musyoka in popularity, Odinga thought his bid for State House was going very well. He added, however, that Kibaki’s rating had also improved. Revealing his rivalry with Odinga, Musyoka commented that the government was helping Odinga because Kibaki supporters would rather the President face him, than Musyoka. “Kibaki will not have to leave State House to win against Odinga,” Musyoka remarked. “If I am the ODM candidate,” he added, “Kibaki might not run.” Musyoka said he would try to make a deal with Raila, but added, “he’s difficult.”
¶6. (C) Kenyatta emphasized that the government too was in disarray, noting that within the president’s inner circle there was instability. During the Moi era, at least, he added, there was a clear authority and as a result, stability. President Kibaki needs to organize his house, because right now, with no one in charge, ministers are making their own decisions, Kenyatta stated. He also criticized the Kibaki administration for doing little to mitigate ethnic animosities.
Kibaki: Robust Recluse or Sick at State House?
¶7. (C) Assessments of Kibaki’s health varied widely. Odinga insisted Kibaki could not appear in public without being medicated, and shuts down when the drugs wear off. Musyoka said Kibaki’s health had improved, but that the President suffered from memory loss. Wako, however, described a president who is “in meetings until eleven p.m.,” and keeps a “punishing schedule.” Describing him as “a formidable man and an economist to the core,” Reverend Musyimi was certain Kibaki has the energy and passion to serve a second term. This time around Kibaki, whom he described as “institutional, not personal, and very nationalistic,” will let his economic record do a lot of the campaigning for him, Musyimi added.
Michuki on Human Rights
¶8. (C) Although he focused mostly on regional issues, Internal Security Minister Michuki offered some views on human rights in Kenya. With respect to political rallies (“demonstrations”), the Minister noted that people have a tendency to misinterpret rights that are guaranteed in the constitution as unlimited. “The African mind does not accept authority,” he continued, explaining that while citizens have rights, they must also follow procedures. When it comes to political gatherings, organizers must notify the government, and officials may in turn refuse the request, in the public interest. Michuki acknowledged that citizens must be educated on their rights and the regulations as well. However, he added, the government’s attempts to work with NGOs to increase awareness have been problematic as the NGOs are the tools of “mostly opposition” individuals. (COMMENT: This is Michuki’s typical tough-guy rhetoric. END COMMENT.)
¶9. (C) A key issue in the electoral debate is the status of ECK Chairman Samuel Kivuitu and whether Kibaki will keep him in place or not when Kivuitu’s term expires on December 2 (just before the expected election). Raila repeated a widely held opinion that Commissioner Muturi Kigano, formerly Kibaki’s lawyer and an ex-convict, would be selected to succeed Kivuitu. Earlier Kivuitu had also suggested Kigano would succeed him, but he said that it now appeared two Ministers were arguing over Kigano’s selection. Musyoka was convinced the government “wants to push Kivuitu out.” Wako thought that although there will be people close to him whispering in his ear, Kibaki will “do the right thing,” when the time comes. The AG declined to speculate what that might be, however. Despite the uncertainty, Kivuitu told Ambassador Carson he would stay through the election if he was asked to, but not for another five years.
¶10. (C) Kivuitu noted among the challenges he faces the possibility that the election itself could be boycotted if the politicians thought the playing field had been unfairly tipped. One factor is the composition of the ECK itself, Kenyatta explained. The Kibaki government’s closed-door selection of nine commissioners (ref A) would damage the credibility of the election they run, in Kenyan voters’ opinion, he said. This, however, does not matter to the government, Kenyatta added. Kivuitu was also concerned about the ECK’s public image. People call the nine “new” commissioners “the riggers,” he said. He added that the results themselves could be called into question if candidates think the election is conducted unfairly.
Minimum Reforms have Minimal Prospects
¶11. (C) Odinga emphasized that the key constitutional reform needed in Kenya is the devolution of power from the executive and from the center more generally. He remarked, however, that there was little likelihood of the reforms passing before the election with Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua working to derail the process. Both Kenyatta and Musyoka blamed Karua for leading the government’s efforts to “scuttle” the reform process. Even Attorney General Wako thought there was too much suspicion all around for agreement.
¶12. (C) Wako described significant progress in Kibaki’s war against corruption. Wako explained that rather than his own lack of will it was systemic inefficiencies as well as loopholes in Kenyan law that kept the chief orchestrators of major corruption scandals out of prison. (NOTE: Wako’s comments mirrored what he told the Ambassador in September (ref B). END NOTE.) Wako cited a lack of evidence and the need for “further investigation” as obstacles in obtaining prosecutions in major corruption cases. Musyimi was less upbeat, criticizing the “architecture of the anti-corruption institutions,” and the Kibaki government for letting pass its moment to clean up. While Kenyatta conceded that the government had made gains economically, because it had not made any institutional changes, corruption continued.
Terror Suspects: Take ‘Em, Don’t Tell
¶13. (C) On terror suspects wanted for the 1998 attacks on the US Embassies in East Africa, Wako suggested it would be politically far simpler to “not know they are Kenyans,” and handle their prosecution outside of Kenya.
¶14. (U) Ambassador Carson has not cleared this message.
Viewing cable 06NAIROBI4631, AG Wako sends Anglo-Leasing Files Back to KACC; Shell Game Continues
DE RUEHNR #4631/01 3001404
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271404Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5157
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/FBI WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L NAIROBI 004631
DEPT FOR INL/C/CP KOHN, AF/EPS HASTINGS
TREASURY FOR WHYCHE-SHAW
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2026
TAGS: KCOR KCRM PREL ECON EFIN KE
SUBJECT: AG Wako sends Anglo-Leasing Files Back to KACC; Shell Game Continues
REF: NAIROBI 4321
Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).
¶1. (C) Summary: As predicted in reftel, Kenya Attorney-General Amos Wako sent the files of 12 prominent people recommended for prosecution back to the Kenya Anti-Corruption (KACC), saying they were inadequate to ensure successful prosecutions in court. The latest developments indicate that Anglo-Leasing prosecutions may be unlikely prior to the December 2007 election. End summary.
AG Wako Sends Files Back to KACC
¶2. (U) On October 2, KACC Director Justice Ringera sent the investigation files of 12 officials implicated in the Anglo-Leasing scandal, including five Ministers, to Attorney-General Amos Wako with recommendations for prosecution. On October 18, Wako sent the files back to the KACC, saying what had been presented to him was not sufficient to ensure successful prosecutions in court. He identified deficiencies that he and the staff of the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) found in the files, and asked KACC to carry out further investigations and re-submit the completed files in 30 days. Wako encouraged KACC to consult the DPP Director Tobiko and his staff “to ensure the files are complete when they are re-submitted to me for final determination.” Over the next few days, Wako and Ringera publicly exchanged criticisms of the other’s claims and defenses of their own, leaving the issue unresolved.
Further Postponing any Prosecution
¶3. (U) AG Wako’s action continues the postponement of prosecution of opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) presidential hopeful Musalia Mudavadi and former Cabinet ministers Chris Murungaru (Transport and Internal Security), David Mwiraria (Finance) and Chris Obure. Other officials whose files were returned include former permanent secretaries Dave Mwangi (Internal Security), Joseph Magari (Finance) and Cyrus Kyungu (Transport), a former financial secretary and four former Government officials. All were implicated in five Anglo Leasing-type projects totaling Sh22 billion ($293 million).
¶4. (U) Both Ringera and Wako have come under intense criticism for their handling of the Anglo-Leasing investigation and the lack of prosecutions. Ringera was embarrassed by former anti-corruption czar John Githongo’s statements about Ringera’s reluctance to prosecute, and complaints about KACC’s high compensation and poor results. Two weeks ago, a group of lawyers defending a lower-ranking official noted that Wako had personally signed off on all the Anglo-Leasing deals. MP Mutula Kilonzo and other questioned Wako’s ability and standing to prosecute the cases and called for Wako to resign.
Can the GOK Prosecute Anglo-Leasing Perpetrators?
¶5. (C) The FBI legal attache at post believes KACC will not be able to overcome the difficulties inherent in any historical corruption investigation, such as voluminous documents and reluctant government witnesses. He has advised KACC that addressing current corruption would be a more effective use of its resources than trying to prosecute Anglo-Leasing and other historical cases. He has offered assistance on proactive investigative techniques, such as undercover operations and informants. The Department of Justice Resident Legal Advisor (DOJ/RLA) concurs that historical cases are more labor intensive and difficult, but recommends we should continue to encourage greater coordination and cooperation between the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and KACC to ensure that Anglo-Leasing and other cases are thoroughly investigated and prosecutable files are developed. He notes that Post has already committed resources to DPP to build its capacity to prosecute complex corruption and fraud cases. Both approaches would require more political will from the GOK.
¶6. (C) As predicted in reftel, Wako, Ringera, and the Kenyan legal system are likely to keep the Anglo-Leasing shell game going until the December 2007 elections. This will allow politicians to keep flinging allegations and denials without ever facing real prosecution. Given President Kibaki’s unwillingness to act against the perpetrators revealed in John Githongo’s dossiers and recordings, political accountability in grand corruption cases may have to wait until after the December 2007 election. Even if the GOK found the political will to prosecute, the time elapsed since the contracts were signed and the difficulty of obtaining evidence and testimony to prove guilt in court will make it very difficult for KACC and DPP to obtain and/or sustain any Anglo-Leasing convictions.
Viewing cable 09NAIROBI2338, PUSHING REFORMS: THE NATIONAL YOUTH FORUM AND GOVERNMENT REACTION
DE RUEHNR #2338/01 3141407
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O 101407Z NOV 09
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1518
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 NAIROBI 002338
FOR A/S CARSON FROM THE AMBASSADOR
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/10/2019
TAGS: KDEM PREL PGOV KE
SUBJECT: PUSHING REFORMS: THE NATIONAL YOUTH FORUM AND
REF: NAIROBI 1811
Classified By: AMBASSADOR MICHAEL E. RANNEBERGER for REASONS 1.4 (B) an d (D)
¶1. (C) Summary. Sixty-six independent youth organizations across the country are planning, with our support and encouragement, to hold a National Youth Forum on November 17 to focus on the reform agenda and national reconciliation. The government feels threatened by such independent activity) particularly that it is drawing youth from every constituency in the country — and our support for it. The President and senior Ministers raised this with me, and I responded (see para 11). The National Youth Forum will take place in a context in which youth across ethnic and political lines are making clear their support for reform and change. This growing awareness and the Forum will help drive domestic-driven pressure for action. End summary.
¶2. (C) As part of our broad efforts to propel implementation of the reform agenda (to which the coalition government committed itself) we have been seeking to encourage peaceful domestic-driven pressure. A key element of this is expanded outreach to youth, who constitute two-thirds of the population. (See reftel and previous on overall strategy framework and actions.) That outreach has involved meetings with young people around the country and expanded support to independent grassroots youth organizations through USAID,s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), among other efforts.
¶3. (C) In September my team and I met with six prominent youth leaders to float the idea of our supporting youth organizations to hold a National Youth Forum to focus on the reform agenda and national reconciliation. At that meeting, the activists indicated that plans were already underway to hold a national youth congress, along lines similar to those we were suggesting. As a result of subsequent discussions between the youth activists and my team, the youth activists decided to expand the scope of the national meeting to include bringing together young people from throughout the nation. With our technical support, the youth activists reached out to over 60 other youth organizations and developed a plan of action to hold a National Youth Forum on November 17. The 66 youth organizations plan to mobilize about 600 young people (including 2 representatives from each of Kenya,s 210 parliamentary constituencies) for a full-day event at the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) in Nairobi. We agreed to provide financial support through OTI.
¶4. (C) At the end of my November 2 meeting with President Kibaki to deliver the letter from President Obama (septel), Kibaki raised for a couple of minutes in a general way our involvement with youth, saying vaguely that it had raised some concerns. Before a discussion could take place, the President,s permanent secretary Muthaura jumped in to say the President had another meeting, and the President left the room. Muthaura then told me that some of the government Ministers wanted to talk with me. Minister of Security Saitoti, FM Wetangula, and Deputy Prime Minister Mudavadi came into the room along with some other officials. They were entirely focused on the planned National Youth Forum. In essence, they described such youth activities as &unhelpful8 and warned that &troublemakers8 could seek to disrupt the meeting. I pushed back hard, acknowledging U.S. support for the meeting, but making clear that the agenda and participation were being organized by the youth organizations. I emphasized that the meeting would be peaceful and made clear I did not appreciate the veiled threat through the reference to &troublemakers.8 In fact, I noted, if as it claims the government is committed to reform then it should embrace the meeting. On November 9 I sent a letter (cleared by Washington) to those involved in the meeting making clear the parameters of our engagement with youth as part of broader efforts to encourage implementation of reforms (see text in para 11).
¶5. (C) Our outreach to youth and the holding of the National Youth Forum come at a time when there is widespread recognition that youth throughout the country are increasingly frustrated with lack of reform, which they correctly link to insufficient efforts to alleviate poverty and to empower youth economically and politically. This broadening realization of the need for change is driving youth to work together across ethnic, religious, and political lines (but also driving the potential to cause instability and violence if youth activism is not channeled peacefully within the democratic system). All of the 66 youth organizations involved in organizing the National Youth Forum are inter-ethnic, and represent all the political constituencies in the country.
¶6. (C) The fact that youth are increasingly asking politicians hard questions and that they are increasingly resistant to manipulation greatly threatens the political class. The increasing activism of youth is one of the most important dynamics at play to threaten the edifice of the culture of impunity. That the political class (as reflected by those in the meeting with me) is so threatened by a meeting of several hundred youth indicates that this edifice may be weaker and less resilient than anyone suspects. While another message will analyze the broader state of the reform process and U.S. efforts, it is worth noting here that the political class which continues to resist reforms is clearly reeling under steadily increasing pressure from the U.S., from Kofi Annan, from Ocampo, and to a lesser extent from the EU. Most importantly, that external pressure is encouraging growing domestic pressure for implementation of reforms, and thus the government,s negative reaction to the National Youth Forum. The external and internal pressure is also yielding some results (as in the commitment to police reform, among other steps).
¶7. (C) On November 10 I received a call from FM Wetangula in response to my letter about engagement with you. He told me that &I cannot disagree with anything in your letter,8 but emphasized that &the government8 still did not want the National Youth Forum to take place. When I pushed back he admitted that the youth organizations had a right to meet. He asked me to engage again with the Minister of Youth before the Youth Forum takes place, which I agreed to do (and had already planned to do). I had already met earlier this week with the two Assistant Ministers of Youth to make clear our interest in partnering with the government on youth activities while also working directly with youth organizations.
¶8. (C) During the night of November 9 the offices of DAI (which is OTI,s primary contractor providing the funding and support to the youth organizations for the holding of the Forum) were burglarized. In what was clearly a targeted operation, only 3 laptops containing information related to the National Youth Forum were taken (despite the presence of much expensive equipment and valuables). The RSO is involved and a police report has been filed. The operation has the hallmarks of the National Security and Intelligence Service, which is often used to intimidate civil society activists. (When I met with PM Odinga on November 3 on other issues, I raised the concerns expressed by Ministers in the November 2 meeting. Odinga said Mudavadi, Odinga,s ally, had been pressured into attending and that he, Odinga, was not opposed to the holding of the Forum. He claimed that National Security and Intelligence Service Director Gichangi ) whose stature with Kibaki has been damaged by a number of missteps) is poisoning Kibaki,s ear about U.S. efforts to promote reform, alleging that the U.S. is stimulating pressure rather than telling Kibaki the truth that he might not want to hear, which is that there is growing grassroots domestic pressure.)
¶9. (C) On November 5 I met with the youth committee representating the organizations setting up the National Youth Forum. I relayed the comments which President Kibaki and then the Ministers had made to me. I made clear to the committee that it was entirely up to them whether or not to proceed with the Forum, but that they had to be alert to the real possibility of state-sponsored intimidation or attempts to have &troublemakers8 disrupt the event. The committee made clear that the youth organizations had already anticipated such possibilities, that precautions have been taken, and they are determined to proceed. They indicated that I and other diplomatic colleagues would be invited to observe part of the proceedings, and I agreed to encourage my counterparts to respond positively.
¶10. (C) The National Youth Forum, if held successfully, will raise the profile of youth initiatives to push for reform, will have a quantum impact in stimulating independent youth efforts across the country and across ethnic and political lines, and help galvanize domestic-driven pressure for change. That said, the political class and vested interests feel very threatened by such independent activity, and there is serious potential for further intimidation. The youth organizations are well-organized, have taken into account these issues, and are doing their utmost to ensure that the Forum is a model of peaceful democratic deliberation. The media will likely give prominent coverage to the event.
¶11. (U) Begin text of my letter to Mudavadi, Saitoti, Wetangula, and Muthaura; the letter was also copied to the Prime Minister: I am writing to follow up on our November 2 discussion in which you expressed concerns about certain of my Mission,s activities related to youth.
The U.S. Mission in Nairobi has for many, many years been engaged in supporting youth activities in Kenya. We have previously sponsored national youth meetings, supported micro-enterprise projects for youth, provided capacity-building training, offered scholarships, provided health assistance targeting the growing problem of HIV infections among youth, and facilitated exchange visits to the United States, to name just a few areas.
We remain engaged in a wide array of such activities. Some of these efforts involve supporting grassroots youth organizations that are working to promote implementation of the reform agenda. Since the coalition government has made clear that it intends to implement fully and expeditiously Agenda Four, and because the United States has repeatedly committed to support this, what we are doing constitutes a vital part of our bilateral partnership. I thus find expressions of concern about such activities surprising. As I made clear to you, in all contacts I and my team have with youth ) publicly and privately ) we emphasize the need for any activity to be peaceful and to take place with full respect for the rule of law. We emphasize the need to work within the democratic system as well as with relevant government agencies and ministries. We also urge the need for national reconciliation and state emphatically that there can be no place for violence. All of our activities are fully transparent. Provincial Commissioners, District Officers, and the local chiefs are almost always present at meetings which I or officers of my Mission hold(whether with youth or others) during travel around the country. In many instances, my meetings with youth and others are co-hosted with government officials. I also routinely invite Members of Parliament to join me in such visits and discussions.
It is a very positive sign for Kenya,s democracy that independent grassroots youth organizations are developing throughout the country and are working peacefully across ethnic and political lines to urge and support change through implementation of the reform agenda, and to promote national reconciliation.
I am sure you agree that in a democratic state, the government must not and should not seek to control the activities and associational life of civil society, be they youth,religious, women, business, or others. That said, it is of course appropriate and necessary for the government to seek to assist youth and other segments of society as they endeavor to contribute to the life of the nation. I commend the government for the initiatives it has undertaken, ranging from creation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, to expansion of the National Youth Service, to establishment of the National Youth Fund, to creation of the Kazi Kwa Vijana Fund, to cite only some of the government,s efforts with regard to youth.
My government is in the process of developing plans regarding a new $45 million initiative for engagement with youth. This program was outlined as part of our new Development Grant Assistance Agreement signed with the Government of Kenya on September 12, 2009. The government has participated in the assessment and program design process for the new youth initiative and has provided valuable input. My team and I will contact relevant government ministers to continue discussing how some of this new funding could be used in joint programs to highlight the positive U.S.-Kenyan partnership. As an element of that partnership, we share the objective of helping to empower young people to become responsible citizens in order to help promote the future democratic stability and prosperity of Kenya. A significant part of our program is assisting youth to generate income and opportunities for a career where they can make a positive contribution.
During our meeting, you specifically inquired about an upcoming National Youth Forum meeting to be held November 17 at KICC. As I indicated, we have provided financial support for the holding of that meeting. This meeting is being organized by over 60 youth organizations from across the country to focus on the reform agenda and reconciliation. While we have been in close touch with the organizers, it is the youth organizations who have set the agenda, who have decided who should be invited to participate, and who are organizing the event. I and other diplomatic colleagues, as well as civil society organizations, religious groups, the private sector, and others have been invited to observe the proceedings, but not to participate.
Given the government,s commitment to advancing democratic values and reform, the meeting should be a welcome development. I understand that the Minister of Youth and Sports and the Police Commissioner have been invited to address the youth meeting. I have been assured that no demonstrations or any other outside activities will take place in connection with the Forum. In that regard, it is my understanding that the Forum will be entirely peaceful and within democratic parameters. When you met with me you raised the concern that &troublemakers8 could seek to disrupt the proceedings. I am sure that appropriate law enforcement authorities will ensure that such outside &troublemakers8 are not allowed to disrupt what, by all indications, will be a model exercise in democracy.
Empowering and enabling young people to channel their energies into peaceful advocacy which respects the democratic system is the best possible way of mitigating against instability or unrest which might grow out of the increasing frustration and cynicism that many youth feel (as documented in Kenyan opinion polls). We see our efforts in Kenya as contributing towards democratic stability, which we value no less than you.
My Government at the highest levels fully supports our engagement with youth, and this letter has specifically been cleared by Washington.
I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to expand and strengthen the bilateral partnership, which is premised on shared democratic values. End text.
Viewing cable 06NAIROBI4629, TWO MEETINGS WITH UHURU KENYATTA
- Kibaki governed not as the head of a coalition but as the head of his Democratic Party
- Kibaki went back on his word on MoU.
- Uhuru Kenyatta carries the historical baggage of KANU around his neck.
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C O N F I D E N T I A L NAIROBI 004629
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/27/2026
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM ECON KE CH
SUBJECT: TWO MEETINGS WITH UHURU KENYATTA
Classified By: Political Counselor Larry Andre per 1.4 (b,d)
Â¶1. (C) Summary: Gliding over the faults of the previous KANU government, KANU political party leader Uhuru Kenyatta sees a political landscape marred by the destruction of party discipline, with ethnic politics an increasingly attractive and dangerous option for some. The current opposition squabbling is distracting attention from real issues. Kenyan politics is about personalities more than anything else. Kenyatta remains committed to an opposition coalition against Kibaki in the 2007 elections. END SUMMARY.
Â¶2. (U) A/S Frazer, Ambassador and PolCouns dined with Uhuru Kenyatta, head of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and official opposition chief on the eve of Kenyatta Day, which celebrates his father’s role as Kenya’s first president. Deputy PolCouns and visiting member of the Secretary’s policy planning staff Ted Craig breakfasted with Kenyatta the following day. This message reports the themes Kenyatta raised at these meetings. Note: many commentators believe this Kenyatta Day was the last: if a proposed and widely favored constitutional change goes through, the holiday will become “Heroes Day,” commemorating a variety of Kenya’s independence leaders. End note.
History as KANU sees it
Â¶3. (C) Kenyatta questioned whether the oft-cited political progress in Kenya since KANU’s departure from power was real. Political freedom, he insisted, was increasing anyway under KANU. A coalition voted out “terrible KANU,” he said ironically, but immediately the head of the coalition (Kibaki) began acting as if he had been elected as a stand-alone candidate. He governed not as the head of a coalition but as the head of his Democratic Party, which represented only one part of Central Province (Kikuyuland). Kibaki once in power decided there was no need to change the “strong Presidency” features of the Constitution he had campaigned against. Then, seeing that he had lost his Parliamentary majority, he did what even Moi never did, “poaching” members of other parties to be part of his government. After several years of this, there is no party discipline at all, Kenyatta lamented. Confusion reigns. People who fought you in the election now support you. People who were elected under the banner of your party are now standing with the government and opposing you. Kibaki was given a golden opportunity in 2002 to bring Kenyans together and take the country to the next level. He squandered that opportunity and now we are at a worse state of affairs than we were prior to 2002, especially as regards entrenched ethnic sentiments.
Â¶4. (C) Kenyatta made the following observations on political topics:
THE MOU AND PERSONALITY POLITICS: Kenyatta said he has seen the famous “MOU” (memorandum of understanding) signed by the coalition of parties that ran against him as NARC in 2002. It demonstrates that Kibaki went back on his word. (Note: it is widely accepted that the main deal of the MOU is that Kibaki becomes President, with the support of Raila Odinga and others, and in return agrees to amend the Constitution to create a weak presidency and a strong Parliament–with Odinga the obvious candidate for Prime Minister. End note.) However, Odinga and others could not produce the MOU to shame Kibaki. That is because politics in Kenya is not about policies, but personalities. Thus, the MOU is a wide-ranging deal about who-gets-what more than an agreement on a new Constitution, and publishing it would embarrass Odinga and others as much as Kibaki and his inner circle.
KIBAKI’S POLITICAL STRATEGY: The Kibaki administration has clearly accomplished some good things for Kenya, especially on the economic front. We cannot take that away from them. They have locked themselves into the mindset that re-election is assured by these achievements, ignoring the other side of the ledger. They have disappointed many. They were shocked by the referendum loss, never seeing it coming. That same arrogance will blind them in 2007.
ODM-K COALITION: Coalition politics works in many parliaments in the world. Odinga is pushing hard for a single “ODM-K” party. But why should Kenyatta and others abandon parties they have worked hard to build up? The problem is not coalitions, but rather dishonest politicians who forget their promises once elected. When Odinga keeps pushing for the dissolution of parties, with no clear reason, the question has to be put to him: what’s your real agenda? KANU will work with the Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya (ODM-K) coalition to oppose the government and win the next election, but will not dissolve. After all, we did not need to dissolve our parties to win the referendum.
ODM-K’S AMORPHOUS NATURE: What are ODM-K’s ideology, plans, principles, party platform and governing structure? As of now, we are nothing but a collection of personalities and their ethnic constituencies. We must move beyond this. Instead of focusing on who will get what post in some future government, we must agree on what we want to achieve for Kenyans. If the ODM-K leadership can work together in a spirit of give and take, then we will win the next election. If not, then we won’t. So far, no one wants to fully commit their political organizations to ODM-K unless they are first assured of getting the top seat. This is a bad sign.
CONSTITUENCY DEVELOPMENT FUNDS–GREAT, BUT…: The bill establishing these funds was actually passed before Kibaki was elected. It’s a great program–people “who never saw one copper coin” spent by the government in their communities are suddenly seeing real spending on their needs. However, there is no good oversight mechanism, as MPs are each responsible for funds for their districts. The legislative function needs to be split from the oversight function. Due to the collegial relationships among MPs, no one is going to publicly ask “is the honorable member from constituency X abusing his fund?” Until this problem is solved, the program should not be expanded.
ETHNICITY VS NATIONALISM: Kibaki has governed very much “as a member of a certain ethnic group, shall we say.” (Note: Kikuyu. End note.) The President’s raiding of other parties (for cabinet members) and destruction of party discipline, without any real set of policies to give his governing coalition identity, leaves the country more vulnerable than ever to ethnic politics. “I get called a traitor every day.” (Note: Kenyatta is an ethnic Kikuyu. End note.) We need to campaign on a theme of Kenyan unity, dropping the traditional notion of communities taking turns at the national trough. An enhanced spirit of nationalism and inclusiveness will increase accountability. Corrupt individuals can no longer hide behind their communities.
ETHNIC INCITEMENT FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES: Some of my ODM-K colleagues openly speak of how their communities have been “slighted by the Kikuyu.” This is dangerous language. They should say “slighted by Kibaki.” After all, the average Kikuyu has received no special benefit from this government, only the cronies around Kibaki have benefited. No good will come from encouragement of ethnic warfare. Kibaki with his access to state resources is in a better position to buy off community leaders and play ethnic politics than we are. It is both politically expedient and morally right for us to avoid ethnic politics. Tensions are such that sparks from any minor inter-ethnic incident can now ignite an uncontrollable fire. I am worried.
A NEW CONSTITUTION: Poloff asked if ODM-K would run on the original “Bomas” draft constitution (which was altered by Kibaki’s government before the referendum). Kenyatta demurred. Remember, he said, that different groups voted against the (government-backed) draft constitution for many reasons. What united them was the “no” vote. ODM-K needs to work through this issue very carefully, rather than engaging in its current squabbling.
WILL RAILA RUN: Raila Odinga is about 62, Kenyatta said, so this is his last real chance, and he will try with every ounce of his strength to become president of Kenya. He will push right up to the moment when he sees he simply can’t make it. If that moment comes, as a pragmatist he will look around and say, “let’s cut a deal. “MOI’S FADING
INFLUENCE: While Moi is still very active and vocal, in fact his influence is fading. This is shown in his inability to call the shots within KANU even on his own home turf in the central Rift Valley.
Â¶5. (SBU) Kenyatta also offered his views on other topics: REMITTANCES: Remittances from Kenyans in the UK, U.S., Canada and elsewhere have fueled a construction boom in Kenya. The financial community is discussing the establishment of financial instruments to entice Kenyans abroad into participating in that sector as well. Kenyatta supports a constitutional amendment to grant dual citizenship to Kenyans.
CHINA: There is a danger that Kenya’s policy of increasing cooperation with China to balance its dependence on western donors will result in overdependence on China. The award of an extensive airport upgrade contract to the Chinese will result in a “Chinese quality” airport, to Kenya’s detriment. Kenyatta averred that China’s much appreciated lack of conditions for its assistance will not last. “Once we are dependent, the conditions will surely come.” A/S Frazer pointed out the downside of Kenya closely associating with a country that does not share its political ideals.
Â¶6. (C) Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s first president, is among the most perceptive and enlightened of Kenya’s politicians, and a representative of the younger generation. However, he is a triple outsider at this point. He stands in opposition to the government, in opposition to most Kikuyus (who strongly back Kibaki) and in opposition to some of his principle colleagues within the ODM-K coalition. He also carries the historical baggage of KANU around his neck. The party is both widely recognized among Kenyans for bringing about independence and for committing many abuses against standards of good governance and human rights. Kenyatta was in fine form despite his many political woes. He delivered his views with reason, conviction and charm. We will know in coming months whether or not his plea for inclusive, issues-based politics will win over those among his ODM-K colleagues who are steeped in the traditional politics of manipulating ethnic voting blocs. END COMMENT.
Â¶7. (U) Neither Ted Craig nor A/S Frazer cleared this message.
Viewing cable 07NAIROBI1439, OPPOSITION POLITICS: SUSPICION, ALLIES, AND A HUMMER
DE RUEHNR #1439/01 0891007
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C O N F I D E N T I A L NAIROBI 001439
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/29/2027
TAGS: PREL KDEM PGOV KE
SUBJECT: OPPOSITION POLITICS: SUSPICION, ALLIES, AND A HUMMER
REF: NAIROBI 1128
Classified By: Political Counselor Larry Andre for reasons 1.4 (b,d).
Â¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Two opposition insiders recently shared their views on the current state of play within ODM-Kenya party ranks. While there is plenty of suspicion and alliance-making, there is still no apparent movement towards consensus on a single ODM-K presidential candidate or even on how to pick that candidate. END SUMMARY.
Â¶2. (C) In a recent conversation, Njee Muturi, Acting Executive Director of the KANU Party and personal assistant to Uhuru Kenyatta, and Member of Parliament Kiema Kilonzo, self-described best friend to top-polling ODM-K presidential hopeful Kalonzo Musyoka, told poloff that the opposition coalition ODM-K party is suffering organizational difficulties and mistrust (mostly directed at MP Raila Odinga). Muturi and Kilonzo represent the camps of two of ODM-K’s seven presidential hopefuls. Muturi and Kilonzo also indicated that the party has yet to agree on a mechanism for selecting a candidate among the aspirants.
Â¶3. (C) Muturi and Kilonzo both expressed frustration at the progress of their coalition ODM-K party. Confirming media reports that the administrative organization of ODM-K is overwhelmingly Raila-centric, Muturi commented that KANU, a “corporate” member of the coalition, is operating entirely on its own, parallel to ODM-K. He indicated that one of his goals was to integrate KANU more closely into the ODM secretariat, which is essentially LDP (Raila’s and Musyoka’s party) with a name change.
Â¶4. (C) Despite this goal, Muturi confessed that he thought after the “London fiasco” that ODM was finished. Muturi was referring to the planned ODM retreat in London in early March that was abruptly called off when several of the party’s presidential aspirants backed out (reftel). Raila, on his way back from the US (bringing a gift armored, red Hummer), went ahead with the London fundraiser. The money he gathered from supporters such as expat Kenyan Gilbert Deya, whose name has been mentioned in connection with an alleged baby selling scam, would go straight into Raila’s pockets, and not the ODM-K party treasury, Kilonzo and Muturi remarked. Both men joked about Raila,s arrogance, recounting a story that Raila or his people told: the reason the other ODM candidates backed out of the London trip was that there were 16 people signed up to sit with Raila at a fundraiser dinner (at 1,000 pounds a seat) two for Uhuru, and none for Kalonzo.
The Twist in the ODM Plot
Â¶5. (C) The men disagreed, however, on Raila,s true intentions this election year. Muturi was certain Raila does not actually expect to be president. Raila knows he will not win, and he is a clever man, Muturi offered. Instead, he wants to be kingmaker, but not for a renegade king like Kibaki turned out to be. Raila wants a king who will jump when Raila says jump, he said. (COMMENT: Raila is overwhelmingly popular among his own Luo people, who make up about 14 percent of Kenya’s population. However, he has “high negatives” almost everywhere else in the country. END COMMENT.)
Â¶6. (C) Who does Raila want to be president?, poloff asked Muturi. Musalia Mudavadi, a late-entrant to the litany of ODM presidential aspirants, a former VP whom Raila convinced to enter the contest, Muturi said. When a national delegates, conference fails to give any one aspirant 51 percent (as stipulated in the ODM-K constitution), Raila will push for Mudavadi as a compromise candidate, he explained. (NOTE: ODM is considering two methods for choosing its candidate: the delegates’ conference and “consensus” by which all aspirants will agree among themselves who will run. END NOTE.) Raila does not even want the national conference process to work, Muturi added. Raila’s ally and ODM-K Executive Secretary MP Peter Nyong’o told PolCouns recently that Mudavadi would be a good compromise candidate, but he preferred one of the first tier candidates, i.e. Raila or Musyoka.
Â¶7. (C) Kilonzo thought otherwise, noting that he did not think it possible that Raila would step aside to support someone else. Kalonzo Musyoka, on the other hand, does want a national delegates conference. Kalonzo “naively” thinks it will work out, Kilonzo said. In his own opinion, however, Kilonzo added, the process of selecting delegates will be so prone to abuse and rigging (by the government), it will be worthless. If Kalonzo is not the candidate, he will throw his support to Uhuru, Kilonzo stated. Kilonzo and Muturi offered two possible presidential/vice presidential candidate combinations: William Ruto (another ODM hopeful) would be Mudavadi,s running mate, or Uhuru would be Kalonzo,s. Both agreed, however, that a ticket with both the president and the vice president from neighboring regions would not work, which is exactly what the two scenarios they described are.
“Our” Votes Falling Behind?
Â¶8. (C) Both men said they were frustrated that by “rigging” the voter registration process, Kibaki had pretty much locked up the necessary votes to win later this year. Muturi said with an increase over 2002 in the number of registered voters among the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru ethnic groups they now total 5.1 million votes of the 12.5 million total.
Â¶9. (C) COMMENT: Show-boating is one of Raila’s best skills and the Hummer achieved exactly the effect he hoped for: front page coverage from all the dailies. It also earned him derisive comments from those who are ostensibly supporters of a unified ODM party. While it is difficult to imagine that Raila’s proclamation that he is the one to next occupy State House is merely rhetoric, there is a precedent for him stepping aside to support a “national” candidate. He recognized in 2002 that Kibaki was the only one who could beat Uhuru. One certainty is that the whispering suspicion and mistrust within ODM undermines the party’s public claims of unity. END COMMENT.
Viewing cable 08NAIROBI2551, POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE COMMISSION REPORT: POLITICIANS DIVIED OVER IMPLEMENTATION
- Many Kikuyus feel that Kikuyu leaders implicated in post-election violence were engaging in self-defense
- Uhuru Kenyatta issued a public statement opposing the full implementation of the CIPEV report.
- Martha Karua’s 2012 presidential bid would be helped if Uhuru Kenyatta were to face trial
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 NAIROBI 002551
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2018
TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV KDEM KE
SUBJECT: POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE COMMISSION REPORT:
POLITICIANS DIVIDED OVER IMPLEMENTATION
REF: A. NAIROBI 2401
Â¶B. NAIROBI 2366
Â¶C. NAIROBI 1838 AND OTHERS
Classified By: Ambassador Michael Ranneberger for reasons 1.4 (B and D)
Â¶1. (U) Two weeks after release of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence (CIPEV) report (refs A and B), Kenya’s political leaders continue to publicly grapple with fallout. Of particular contention is whether to implement the report’s recommendations for a special tribunal to try high-level organizers of post-election violence. President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have consistently called for implementation of the report. Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) has yet to take a position on the report, though indications are that there is serious resistance.
Â¶2. (U) On October 30, the Parliamentary Group of Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) rejected the report. 75 of 102 ODM MPs attended the meeting and concluded that it contains “incurable errors”, creating a serious obstacle to passage of the report in parliament. This opens the possibility of a challenge to Odinga’s leadership or split in ODM. The ODM backlash is led by Rift Valley MPs, while Central Kenya MPs are hesitant to support Kibaki’s call for implementation of the report. Media speculation about the names of the ten suspects mentioned (but not named) in the report is rife. High-level politicians from both sides of the Grand Coalition government are presumed to be among the ten, including key political allies of Kibaki and Odinga, such as Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (PNU) and Agriculture Minister William Ruto (ODM); each has issued defensive statements challenging the sufficiency of evidence linking them to violence.
Â¶3. (U) Kibaki and Odinga appear willing to push the issue forward despite the risk it poses to these allies; a Cabinet retreat is planned to try to find common ground on the report. Even if Cabinet adopts the report, PNU will need time to get its MPs to support implementation, while ODM will need to restart discussions after a large majority of its MPs rejected the report. To bring MPs along, Kibaki and Odinga will need to compromise; opponents of implementation will try to dilute the independence of the proposed special tribunal. Agreement is likely to be found if only to avoid the prospect that the International Criminal Court asserts jurisdiction over Kenyans. Despite the challenges, Odinga told the Ambassador on October 27 that he is confident that the report will be implemented. We will continue to push for implementation through a Kenyan mechanism, as called for in the CIPEV report to assure accountability in line with Assistant Secretary Frazer’s public statement of October 29. Clear statements by the U.S. and Annan on the need to carry out fundamental reforms and end impunity are playing a catalytic role to mobilize civil society, the private sector, and media. End Summary.
Â¶4. (U) Since the Commission of Inquiry into Post-election Violence (CIPEV – also known as the Waki Commission) released its report on October 15, Kenyan politics has been dominated by discussion of the report’s conclusions and its political and legal implications. The report called for sweeping reform of the police services and the establishment of a special tribunal with strong international participation to try high-level organizers and financiers of post-election violence (ref a). Kenya’s political leaders have a long history of inaction on recommendations of previous commissions of inquiry. However, their hand has been forced by the Waki Commission’s decision to give Kofi Annan the names of ten high-level organizers of post-election violence for referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if Kenya fails to establish the special tribunal. CIPEV Chairman, Justice Philip Waki, has publicly stated that the names will be submitted to the ICC Prosecutor if no action is taken by February 28, 2009. With Kenya now facing a deadline, debate is raging is whether or not to implement the report. Kenya’s political leaders are divided on the degree and manner of implementation of the CIPEV report.
Â¶5. (SBU) The Kenyan media has been frantically speculating about which high-level figures are among the ten suspects mentioned (but not named) in the CIPEV report. Some high-level political figures who have been subject to speculation as possible indictees are:
– William Ruto, Minister of Agriculture, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)
– Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy PM, Minister of Trade Party of National Unity (PNU)
– George Thuo, MP Juju, PNU Parliamentary Whip
– Zakayo Kipkemoi Cheruiyot, MP Kuresoi (ODM)
– Isaac Kiprono Ruto, MP Chepalungu (ODM)
– Franklin Bett, MP Buret (ODM)
– Cyrus Jirongo, MP Lugari (Kaddu – not affliated with either PNU or ODM)
– Fred Kapondi, MP Mt. Elgon (ODM)
– Kabando wa Kabando, MP Mt. Mukurweini (PNU)
– Simon Nyachae, ex-MP, FORD-K (PNU-affiliated)
– Ruben Ndolo, ex-MP, ODM
Â¶6. (SBU) William Ruto is widely suspected of being a key organizer of post-election violence in Rift Valley Province, as are Cheruiyot, Isaac Ruto, and Franklin Bett. The PNU figures on the list have been implicated as having either planned, supplied, or provided transport to members of the ethnic Kikuyu Mungiki criminal organization to execute revenge attacks against non-Kikuyu in Naivasha and Nakuru in mid-January 2008. The big fish in this equation, William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta, have had different reactions to the speculation. While Ruto has sought to call into question the credibility of the report by calling it a collection of hearsay and not worth the paper it is written on. He initially also stated that he is not afraid to go before a tribunal to clear his name. Uhuru Kenyatta has been even more defensive and strident in trashing the report. PNU Whip George Thuo has proclaimed his innocence, but accepts that the report should be implemented.
Call for Full Implementation
Â¶7. (U) President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga have consistently called for the full implementation of the CIPEV report. Initially, they planned to table the CIPEV report at a Cabinet meeting set for October 30. However, this was postponed because President Kibaki opened the IGAD summit taking place in Nairobi that day. Kibaki and Odinga have planned a Cabinet retreat, at which the CIPEV report will be discussed. We do not expect this retreat to result in Cabinet adoption of the report, but it shows that Kibaki and Odinga are moving the issue forward. We understand that the Cabinet will debate the report at its next scheduled meeting on November 13.
Will their parties follow?
Â¶8. (U) Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) has not yet taken a firm stand on the CIPEV report. However, indications are that Odinga will have a hard time bringing his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to support his call for full implementation of the report. On October 30, the ODM Parliamentary group rejected the CIPEV report.
Â¶9. (C) PNU has not yet come to a unified position on implementation. Some key figures, such as Minister of Justice Martha Karua, call for full implementation, while others have taken a more cautious approach. PNU Central Province coordinator (and Kinangop MP) David Ngugi told poloff that PNU regional leaders agreed that the report should be implemented, but that it must be handled cautiously because of the inflammatory nature of the charges likely to be leveled against Kikuyu leaders. (Comment: Many Kikuyus feel that Kikuyu leaders implicated in post-election violence were engaging in self-defense and should not be equated with Rift Valley organizers, who engaged in unprovoked violence. End Comment).
Â¶10. (C) Ngugi also noted that PNU feels obliged to protect Uhuru Kenyatta, who many see as the next leader of the GEMA (the ethnic Kikuyu, Embu, and Meru) political grouping and a future president of Kenya. A meeting of the GEMA-dominated Central Kenya Parliamentary (CPK) group called by Uhuru Kenyatta and the Minister of Energy, Kiraitu Murungi, criticized the Waki Report for conducting a partial investigation It concluded that the Report must be amended for parliament to approve it. Kenyatta issued a public statement opposing the full implementation of the CIPEV report.
Â¶11. (U) Those calling for a go-slow approach in both ODM and PNU accuse those seeking full implementation of the report as attempting to settle political scores against rivals who are potentially implicated in post-election violence. There may be some element of truth in these charges – certainly Martha Karua’s 2012 presidential bid would be helped if Uhuru Kenyatta were to face trial. Likewise, Odinga (and Mudavadi) would benefit from a potential trial of William Ruto – a potential rival whose future would be severely diminished. But it stretches the truth to suggest that support for implementation is solely motivated by these short-term political considerations. Kibaki, in his last term, does not need to worry about future political rivals. He and Odinga seem to be motivated by the need to address post-election violence to move the country forward. For her part, Martha Karua has been a proponent of ending Kenya’s culture of impunity since her days leading the fight for multi-party democracy in the 1990s.
Public sentiment mixed
Â¶11. (U) Many in Kenyan society have emphasized the need for a forward-looking response to the crisis, focusing on restorative, not retributive, justice. They stress the need to complete Kenya’s healing by using the reform processes laid out in Agenda Point 4 of the National Accord and Reconciliation Agreement to prevent a recurrence of violence. There is, however, a growing chorus urging implementation. This is evident in prominent media editorials and commentary, statements by religious groups, among others. Kenyan human rights and governance organizations support full implementation of the report to bring justice for the victims, but also see establishment of a special tribunal as a key step towards breaking the culture of impunity that remains largely undiminished among Kenya’s elite. Statements by Assistant Secretary Frazer, the Ambassador, and Kofi Annan have played an important role to energize these groups – who were also key in resolving the post-election crisis.
Â¶12. (U) The ODM Parliamentary Group’s rejection of the report, while certainly serious, does not necessarily mean the end of the line for the report. It will, however, force Odinga to seriously reevaluate his position and make him more inclined to seek compromise to regain his party’s support on the issue. Kibaki, too, must work to get his supporters to agree on a way forward. We will urge Kenya’s leaders to implement a Kenyan solution to hold organizers of post-election violence accountable.
Â¶13. (U) The threat of Kenyans being tried by the ICC is powerful leverage to influence Kenya’s leaders to implement a mechanism to hold accountable alleged organizers of post-election violence, even if they vary from the report’s special tribunal proposal. Those opposed to establishing a special tribunal are likely to try to dilute the tribunal’s independence, and will use nationalist arguments to remove the strong international presence proposed for the tribunal’s trial and investigative branches. Their goal will be to create a body more acceptable to Kenyan nationalist sensibilities, but which might also allow high-powered suspects to feel they have a better chance to manipulate the process and beat charges. End Comment
Viewing cable 09NAIROBI1168, KEY PARLIAMENTARIAN PESSIMISTIC ON REFORMS, SEEKS U.S SUPPORT TO CREATE NEW POLITICAL FORCE
DE RUEHNR #1168/01 1621154
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O 111154Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9798
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUZEFAA/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 001168
AF/E FOR SUSAN DRIANO
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM KE
SUBJECT: KEY PARLIAMENTARIAN PESSIMISTIC ON REFORMS, SEEKS
U.S. SUPPORT TO CREATE NEW POLITICAL FORCE
REF: A. NAIROBI 1101
Â¶B. 08 NAIROBI 1692
Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger for reasons 1.4 (B and D)
Â¶1. (C) Poloff met on June 2 with Dr. Boni Khalwale, the Chair of the Kenyan Parliament’s Public
Accounts Committee (PAC), a key watchdog committee. Khalwale has used his position as a bully pulpit, asking tough questions of the Grand Coalition government and gaining a measure of popularity in the process. Khalwale told poloff that he expected to be re-elected as Chair of the PAC after parliamentary committees are reconstituted, a process currently underway. Furthermore, he stated that he and former Minister of Justice Martha Karua had agreed to join efforts in parliament to hold the government accountable. Khalwale was pessimistic that the grand coalition government would pursue significant constitutional reform. He argued that key members of the grand coalition were pursuing their own political and economic interests to the detriment of the reform agenda. Khalwale welcomed the Ambassador’s continuing engagement to help coalesce youth, civil society, and the private sector to push the reform agenda. However, Khalwale said some reformist parliamentarians, naturally including himself, want to join this effort — which we welcome. End Summary.
Â¶2. (U) Poloff met on June 2 with Dr. Bonny Khalwale (ethnic Luhya, New Ford-Kenya party), the Chair of the Kenyan Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Khalwale is in his second-term as a member of parliament (MP) representing Ikolomani constituency, in Western Province. Khalwale was first elected to parliament in 2002 on the ticket of President Kibaki’s then-political vehicle, NARC. However, sensing the shifting political winds in Western Province, Khalwale resisted entreaties by Musalia Mudavadi, the Luhya’s lead political figure, to join the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). Instead Khalwale joined up with the non-aligned New FORD-Kenya party and successfully defended his seat. He is a surgeon by profession. Unlike many prominent Kenyan politicians, Khalwale was raised in poverty and this background and his direct approach to politics appeal to ordinary Kenyans.
Keeping the Coalition Honest
Â¶3. (C) Khalwale told poloff that he had used his position as Chair of the PAC as a bully pulpit to try to keep the grand coalition government honest. (Note: The PAC is one of four key watchdog committees in the Kenyan Parliament. Under Kenya’s parliamentary system, watchdog committees are chaired by opposition members. Currently there is no official opposition, but Khalwale’s New Ford-Kenya party is not aligned to either side of the grand coalition government. End Note.) Indeed he has made his reputation by asking difficult questions of Ministers on both sides of the grand coalition government. For example, in June 2008 Khalwale questioned then-Minister of Finance Amos Kimunya on his role in the sale of a luxury hotel. The resulting furor eventually resulted in Kimunya’s resignation (Reftel B). More recently, he questioned discrepancies in the supplementary budget, embarrassing Minister of Finance/Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta. Khalwale stated that he’d received private criticism for this from MPs because he had exposed Parliament’s failure to scrutinize the budget. Khalwale noted that the recently passed Fiscal Management Bill, which will increase Parliament’s role in budget formulation, is awaiting the President’s assent.
Â¶4. (C) Khalwale stated that his approach had made him few friends among the political elite, but that he had received much positive feedback from members of the public and civil society, with whom he frequently exchanges information. He told poloff that Parliament is currently reconstituting its committees in line with new standing orders (Rules of Procedure), adopted in December 2008. He thought that, if the PAC membership did not change drastically, he stands a good chance of retaining the Chair because the parliamentary committees elect their own Chairs. Khalwale welcomed a recent Speaker’s ruling refusing to allow ODM and Party of National Unity (PNU) members to chair watchdog committees in the absence of an official opposition. Khalwale thought (and other sources confirmed) the motion was aimed at stripping him of the PAC Chair. However, he thought that both the PNU and the ODM might try to nominate members to the PAC who would oppose his re-election as Chair.
Pessimism on Constitutional Reform
Â¶5. (C) Khalwale was pessimistic that the grand coalition government is capable of delivering serious constitutional reform, adding that both PNU and ODM are pursuing their own financial and political interests rather than pushing for serious constitutional reform. He stated that ODM was seriously conflicted about constitutional reform. Backbenchers stand by ODM’s 2007 campaign platform to devolve power to the provinces. However, many ODM (and PNU) political figures in the grand coalition have presidential aspirations in 2012 and the status quo, with its strong presidential structure, suits their needs, according to Khalwale. He expected that the grand coalition government would implement modest institutional reforms (and mentioned police and judicial reform as examples) to convince the international community that it was making progress.
Working for Reform
Â¶6. (C) Khalwale noted that he was working with former Minister of Justice Martha Karua to maintain pressure in Parliament for the government to implement reforms. He supported the Ambassador’s continuing efforts to energize youth groups and civil society to press for reform (Reftel A). He thought that the situation today is similar to that Kenya faced in the early 1990s, when Khalwale was a student leader pushing for multi-party democracy. He said reform-minded parliamentarians will work with the Ambassador to press for reform — which we welcome. (Note: We are extensively engaged in outreach to reformist elements of Parliament. End Note.)
Â¶7. (C) Khalwale is a politician worth watching. His strong performance as Chair of the PAC has prevented the grand coalition government from being too complacent, despite the absence of an official opposition. He has a sharp mind and smooth manner that allows him to build networks. However, Khalwale is not a idealist and knows the darker side of Kenyan politics: he was fined in the runup to the 2007 election by the now-defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya for hiring a youth gang to intimidate a rival candidate’s supporters. However, his willingness to take on vested interests and talk truth to power has gained him a political appeal that crosses ethnic lines, making him a potentially useful ally to galvanize public support for the reform agenda. End Comment.
Viewing cable 09NAIROBI1080, A/S CARSON AND NSC SENIOR DIRECTOR GAVIN’S MEETING WITH PRESIDENT KIBAKI
- President Obama “deeply concerned” with events in Kenya
- Political gridlock threatens stability and implementation of the reform agenda
- There will be no “business as usual” with actors who obstruct the reform agenda or who advocate a return to violence.
- The “assasination” of two prominent human rights activists (Reftel C) had shaken Washington – Carson
- Pressure on Kibaki to remove Police commissioner Ali who is either derelict in his duty or found wanting
DE RUEHNR #1080/01 1531520
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P 021520Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9677
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 NAIROBI 001080
DEPARTMENT FOR A/S CARSON, NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/02/2039
TAGS: PREL KDEM PHUM PINR PGOV KE
SUBJECT: A/S CARSON AND NSC SENIOR DIRECTOR GAVIN’S MEETING WITH
REF: A. NAIROBI 807
¶B. NAIROBI 712
¶C. NAIROBI 458
¶D. NAIROBI 413
Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger for reasons 1.4 (B and D)
¶1. (C) Assistant Secretary for African Affairs (A/S) Johnnie Carson and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Africa Michelle Gavin met with President Mwai Kibaki and several high-ranking GOK officials on May 12. A/S Carson told Kibaki that his visit was meant to underscore the enormous friendship and long-standing partnership between the United States and Kenya. However, Carson stated that his visit was also meant to emphasize concern in Washington that the coalition government is pulling apart rather than coming together and that this threatens implementation of the reform agenda and renewed instability. Carson told Kibaki that the U.S. – Kenya partnership will strengthen politically and economically if Kenya moves forward as a strong democracy and offered U.S. assistance to keep things on track. NSC Senior Director for Africa Gavin commented that President Obama is “deeply concerned” with the lack of progress on reform. Gavin also conveyed a message from the President that there will be no “business as usual” with actors who obstruct the reform agenda or who advocate a return to violence, but added that the U.S. wants to help Kenya move forward.
¶2. (C) President Kibaki expressed his gratitude for U.S. involvement during the crisis, but denied that Kenya was not making progress. Kibaki stated that the coalition government is moving forward together. He allowed the other attendees to discuss progress in implementing the reform agenda, mostly formation of commissions which GOK interlocutors termed as executive in nature. A/S Carson replied that process is no substitute for progress, and that progress is not a substitute for postive, full implementation of the reform agenda. A/S Carson also highlighted Washington’s growing concern about the human rights situation and police impunity. The recent assasination of two human rights activists and the subsequent lack of progress investigating the case, had, “cast an enormous shadow over police and the judicial process as a whole,” according to Carson. Failure to hold people accountable contributes to the perception that Kenya is not moving in the right direction and this is the reality that the GOK must deal with, he warned. A/S Carson stressed the importance that the coalition partners continue to seek dialogue and reconciliation, and to find accommodation to reduce tensions. He concluded by reiterating the importance of Kenya and the United States’ continuing commitment to helping Kenya move forward. End Summary.
A Strong U.S. – Kenya Partnership
¶3. (C) Assistant Secretary for African Affairs (A/S) Johnnie Carson and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Africa Michelle Gavin met with President Mwai Kibaki on May 12. The meeting was also attended by several high-ranking GOK officials, including Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Administration George Saitoti, Minister of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs (Minister of Justice) Mutula Kilonzo Attorney General Amos Wako, and the Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura. A/S Carson noted the fact he made Kenya his first substantive trip since being confirmed as A/S underscores the importance we attach to the relationship. A/S Carson noted that Kenya is the United States’ strongest partner in East Africa and on the Horn of Africa. He added that the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa and represents a fundamental belief in the strength of our relationship.
… But Renewed Concern
¶4. (C) However, A/S Carson explained that a second reason for his trip to Kenya is to express renewed and deep concern that the grand coalition government not fully implementing the reform agenda. Public frustration is building and could lead to increased instability if the reforms are not implemented. The Assistant Secretary stated that the U.S. – Kenya partnership will be much stronger on the political and economic fronts if Kenya continues to move forward as a strong democracy. A/S Carson offered U.S. help to keep things on track, but stated the U.S. will also speak out to urge action.
President Obama Deeply Concerned
¶5. (C) National Security Council Senior Director for Africa Michelle Gavin stated that she had spoken with President Barack Obama about Kenya before departing Washington. Gavin stated that the President wanted her to come to Kenya with the A/S to make clear the concerns of the White House. She told Kibaki that President Obama is “deeply concerned” with events in Kenya and relayed the President’s view that political gridlock threatens stability and implementation of the reform agenda, which she termed most important for Kenya’s long-term future. She noted that, because Kenya is such an important nation, the U.S. wants to help Kenya move forward in a way that will give Kenyans more opportunities. Gavin told Kibaki that President Obama asked her to convey the message that there will be no “business as usual” with actors who obstruct the reform agenda or who advocate a return to violence.
Kibaki: We Are On Track
¶6. (C) In brief remarks, President Kibaki said, “I see a different picture; the picture I have is we (the coalition partners) are getting close together.” He denied that Kenya was returning to crisis and he did not see why people think the grand coalition government is pulling apart. The grand coalition government is moving forward together to solve Kenya’s problems. He supposed that the concern may be caused by the large amount of political noise surrounding certain issues. With that, Kibaki asked the other attendees to brief A/S Carson on the achievements ofthe coalition government, which included the recent formation of a police reform commission (Septel), the appointment of an interim electoral commission (Reftel A), the upcoming appointment of an interim boundary commissions to re-set electoral boundaries, and resolving financial constraints on the work of the recently appointed Constitutional Panel of Experts (Reftel B), and that Cabinet is preparing to consider a report on land reform. Looking forward, Minister of Justice Mutula Kilonzo said that judicial reform was high on his agenda and that he will work with Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to agree on the necessary steps. Kilonzo agreed that progress on the reform agenda has been slower than anticipated, but argued that progress is being made. He argued that any perceived delay in pursuing the reform agenda is due to debate and disagreements that are inherent in Kenya’s democratic system. All interlocutors noted that these processes are expensive and that the GOK is facing severe financial constraints. All asked A/S Carson to consider providing financial support to these processes.
Process Is No Substitute for Progress
¶7. (C) A/S Carson expressed his appreciation for the work that has been done thus far, but stressed that “process, while important, is no substitute for progress.” He elaborated that progress itself is not a substitute for full, positive implementation of the reform agenda. He warned that the Kenyan public is becoming increasingly impatient with the perception that the GOK is going slow on implementation. A/S Carson also told the attendees that he is well aware of Kenya’s history of responding to complex crises with commissions, but that Kenya has rarely acted on their recommendations. He told Kibaki that the GOK needs to act on the recommendations of the recently-formed commissions or else the public will lose faith in the government. On the issue of financial support, A/S Carson noted that the U.S. has been a strong and reliable donor to Kenya and is prepared to help as much as it can. He made clear that the U.S. will help, but only as part of progress towards full implementation of the reform agenda. A/S Carson warned that the U.S. does not wish to assist processes that go on and on without achieving results. Carson also stress the need for full and equal power-sharing within the coalition.
A Warning on Human Rights
¶8. (C) A/S Carson also delivered a strong message on human rights, police impunity, and the need for accountability. Carson told Kibaki that the “assasination” of two prominent human rights activists (Reftel C) had shaken Washington. The subsequent lack of investigation or arrests has cast an enormous shadow over the police and the justice system as a whole. This is the reality that the government must deal with, A/S Carson told Kibaki. He added that President Kibaki had the power to act to improve this perception. In a barely disguised plea for Kibaki to remove Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, who has been linked with extrajudicial killings by the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial Killings (Reftel D), Carson stated that the President has the power to remove an official who is either derelict in his duty or found wanting. It is the failure of Kenyan government to remove officials who are unable to execute their jobs that contributes to the perception that things are not moving forward, Carson added.
¶9. (C) A/S Carson reaffirmed Kenya’s importance to the U.S., stating that no country between Cairo and Capetown is more important than Kenya. The deep friendship and deep partnership requires the U.S. to air its concerns that the reform agenda is not moving forward, he added. Responding to an argument made by the Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura that political gridlock is a result of Kibaki’s party not agreeing with ODM’s position on appointments and the nature of power-sharing, the Assistant Secretary stated that, in a tense environment such as Kenya, it is important that the coalition partners continually seek dialogue and reconciliation, and pursue accommodation to reduce tensions. Carson added that Kenya’s post-election violence had impacted most of East Africa and that Washington would speak out if there is a possibility of renewed violence.
¶10. (C) In response, President Kibaki stated that “if these guys (the Ministers present) say they will undertake reforms, they will do it and will do things with an eye towards implementation, not just process.” “We are going to act,” Kibaki stated. He then appealed to A/S Carson for financial assistance to, “do the things that must be done.” Kibaki re-emphasized his view that the Coalition government is functioning well and thanked A/S Carson for his visit.
¶11. (U) This cable has been cleared by A/S Carson and NSC Senior Director for Africa Gavin.
WikiLeaks Releases: Nairobi Cable No. 40: It was “impossible” for the Coalition Government to fight corruption – Ringera
Viewing cable 09NAIROBI579, ANTI-CORRUPTION CHIEF ON KENYAN KLEPTOCRACY
- Ringera: “Every mover and shaker” in each branch of government is corrupt.
- Kibaki “thrushed the list” of compromised officials and appointed them to the Cabinet
- It was “impossible” for the Coalition Government to fight corruption because it would amount to killing itself – Ringera
- Ringera and his office are losing the fight against large scale corruption
R 241146Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8916
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
FBI WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
S E C R E T NAIROBI 000579
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2027
TAGS: KCOR KCRM KDEM PGOV PHUM PINR PREL ECON KE
SUBJECT: ANTI-CORRUPTION CHIEF ON KENYAN KLEPTOCRACY
REF: A) TD-314/014 437-09 B) NAIROBI 411 AND PREVIOUS
Classified By: ECON/C GENE YOUNG FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
¶1. (C) Summary: Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Director Justice Ringera told Econ/C that while there was no evidence of involvement by “big fish” in either the Triton Oil or maize scandals (ref b) “every mover and shaker” in the Parliament, Cabinet, and the Attorney General’s office is corrupt. Ringera indicated that, prior to the formation of the Grand Coalition Government (GCG), he had provided President Kibaki with a list of individuals who should be barred from Cabinet; “it was trashed,” he conceded. Ringera said it was “impossible” for the GCG to fight corruption because it would be “killing itself.” He noted, however, that he saw no alternative to the GCG. Ringera encouraged the USG to pursue visa revocation/denial against high profile officials to help create a sense of accountability within Kenya’s deeply corrupt political elite. Econ/C indicated that corruption would likely be central to future Kenya-U.S. relations. End summary.
¶2. (C) Econ/C met March 5 with Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KCAA) Director Justice Aaron Ringera (ref a) to discuss the status of KACC investigations into the Triton Oil and maize scandals (ref b) and to discuss the emphasis the Obama Administration would likely put on fighting corruption in Kenya. On Triton, Ringera said KCAA would wrap up its investigation by the end of March with the submission of a report to the Attorney General’s office. He said KCAA had extensively interviewed witnesses without finding any evidence of high-level involvement. “It was petty corruption, but with grand consequence,” he said, adding that the fraud at the Kenya Pipeline Corporation went only as high as a computer manager who manipulated allocations of oil on Triton’s behalf. (Comment: It strikes us as improbable that a scandal of this magnitude would not involve higher level officials.) Ringera indicated his confidence that the mid-level perpetrators would be prosecuted by the AG. He emphasized that no “big fish” would be charged.
¶3. (C) Ringera said KACC’s investigation into the maize scandal was ongoing, including a forensic audit by an international accounting firm beginning in March. He expects the audit will account for all maize bags allocated from the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR), and who bought and sold them. He said the evidence showed negligence in the management of the SGR but no criminal activity. According to Ringera, the media had sensationalized the “misallocation” of bags into a huge scandal. He characterized the misallocation of bags as “commercial immorality” but, again, nothing criminal. Ringera then –somewhat contradicting himself — noted that several members of parliament could face charges for ethics violations (“influence peddling” he called it) because they had pressed the National Cereals and Produce Board to allocate maize to their constituencies. When asked by Econ/C about the illegal export of maize to southern Sudan, Ringera replied that the ban came into effect in December 2008 – a time after the maize was allegedly exported. Ringera said there was no evidence of influence peddling by Agricultural Minister Ruto or kick backs. As with Triton, there was no evidence of “big fish” involvement, he said.
¶4. (S) Switching gears, Ringera mused about Kenya’s culture of impunity, describing what amounts to a kleptocracy. He said “every mover and shaker” in each branch of government is corrupt. Ringera reported that during the formation of the GCG he provided President Kibaki with a list of severely compromised officials who should not be permitted to serve in the new Cabinet. Ringera conceded that the President “trashed the list” and appointed a rogue’s gallery including — but not limited to — Deputy Prime Minister Mudavadi (Goldenberg scandal), Interior Minister Saitoti (Goldenberg scandal), Higher Education Minister Sally Kosgei (illegal acquisition and sale of government land), Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey (fleecing parastatals), and Regional Development Minister Gumo (illegal land acquisition/sale).
¶5. (C) Ringera said it was “impossible” for the Grand Coalition Government (GCG) to fight corruption because it would be “killing itself.” However, he also noted that he saw no alternative to the GCG. Ringera encouraged the USG to pursue visa revocation/denial against high profile officials to help create a sense of accountability within Kenya’s deeply corrupt political elite. ECON/C told Ringera that the USG is reviewing its options on assisting Kenya in the fight against corruption. Pointing to President Obama’s inaugural remarks as well as his August, 2006 speech at the University of Nairobi, ECON/C added that galvanizing the coalition government to act on the reform agenda and on corruption are and would continue to be a central theme in our bilateral relationship.
¶6. (C) Comment: Ringera and his office are losing the fight against large scale corruption either through fatigue, a lack of legal weapons, or a genuine disinterest in taking on the toughest cases. The Director is starting to sound like he falls in the latter category. But his conclusions about the Coalition and the “feeding frenzy” we have described before continue to ring true. At this time, the leadership and resolve needed to take on those involved in corruption at the most senior levels is lacking within the GOK. End comment.
WikiLeaks Releases: Nairobi Cable No. 39: Kikuyu and Kalenjin Voters will Never Form an Alliance in 2012 – Sally Kosgey
Viewing cable 09NAIROBI1077, A/S CARSON AND NSC SENIOR DIRECTOR GAVIN’S MEETING WITH MINISTER FOR HIGHER ED SALLY KOSGEY
- Kibaki beholden to the corrupt interests of his inner circle – Sally Kosgey
- Odinga “often agrees to meet late at night when he is tired and unfocused”
- Police Commissioner Ali did PNU a favor during the past election by cordoning ODM strongholds
- Ruto is working with Uhuru to block key reforms and scuttle the Waki Commission’s call for a local tribunal
- Ruto will abandon Uhuru if he stumbles or is no longer useful
- Odinga remains the strongest Presidential candidate
DE RUEHNR #1077/01 1531322
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P 021322Z JUN 09
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9670
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L NAIROBI 001077
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (CHANGED SUBJECT LINE)
DEPARTMENT FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARSON
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/27/2039
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM PHUM PINR KE
SUBJECT: A/S CARSON AND NSC SENIOR DIRECTOR GAVIN’S MEETING WITH
MINISTER FOR HIGHER ED SALLY KOSGEI
Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger for reasons 1.4 (b) an d (d)
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Assistant Secretary for African Affairs (A/S) Johnnie Carson and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Africa Michelle Gavin, and the Ambassador met on May 12 with Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology Sally Kosgei. In a wide ranging conversation that focused on current political personalities and their aspirations, Kosgei confirmed that Kenya,s leaders are as a whole unwilling or unable to advance real reforms. Sustained, broad public pressure will be required to move leaders beyond their narrow political interests to serving the needs of the country. END SUMMARY.
¶2. (C) Concluding a long day of bilateral meetings, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs (A/S) Johnnie Carson and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Africa Michelle Gavin dined at the Ambassador,s residence with Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology Sally Kosgei. Kosgei opened the conversation by reflecting on the recent resignation of Martha Karua as Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. &Karua is a good woman, and an ally for reform,8 Kosgei remarked, but she &fell into the trap of believing that Kibaki actually seeks to reform the judicial sector.8 Frustrated in her ambitions for reform, Karua chose to resign, a move that Kosgei regards as unfortunate. Kosgei noted that Karua,s replacement as Justice Minister, Mutula Kilonzo, used to be the personal lawyer to former President Moi. &Kilonzo is a windbag and not strong enough to take on the vested interests8 of the current regime, Kosgei observed, but she expressed the hope that he would undertake at least minimal reforms of the judiciary.
PRESIDENT AND PM INCAPABLE OF ACTION
¶3. (C)Following A/S Carson,s observation that Prime Minister Odinga appears to be shifting the blame for the slow pace of reforms to the President,s PNU party, Kosgei reflected that the two principles have no difficulty reaching agreement on issues but for different reasons are each incapable of advancing reforms. She noted from her own experience in cabinet meetings that &the two principles are in a mutual admiration club(in cabinet they always agree. In fact they should meet more often because they can reach agreement together.8
¶4. (C) Concerning the President, Kosgei noted that Kibaki agrees to reforms in principle but is beholden to the corrupt interests of his inner circle. Agreeing that the head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura has accumulated inordinate control over government functions, Kosgei stated that Muthaura, Minister for Internal Security George Saitoti, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Moses Wetangula are all close advisors of the President.
¶5. (C)Regarding the Prime Minister, Kosgei believes that Odinga truly wants to achieve the reform agenda but does not have the organizational discipline to do so. &Raila has no office structure, no discipline in his life or schedule,8 Kosgei commented, and quoted former advisor Salim Lone as observing that Odinga has made it this far in politics by the force of his personality without having to demonstrate managerial acumen. Though Odinga,s advisors are well intentioned, most don,t have government experience and he tends to surround himself with fellow ethnic Luos, Kosgei observed. Odinga is unwilling to sack corrupt deputies, and is overly focused on protocol issues and ODM inclusion in appointment decisions such that it distracts his attention from the broader reform agenda. Though Kosgei and other ministers have access to Odinga, he often agrees to meet late at night when he is tired and unfocused. Close advisors to Odinga include the ODM whip Jakowo Midiwo, Agriculture Minister William Ruto, several members of Odinga,s extended family, and his wife Ida.
¶6. (C) A/S Carson raised our concerns regarding extrajudicial killings, in particular the Oscar Foundation murders. Kosgei responded by noting that all security organs remain under the control of Kibaki,s PNU party. Because PNU leaders believe that Police Commissioner Ali did them a favor during the past election by cordoning ODM strongholds, Kosgei expects that the PNU will block any substantial police reforms and will retain close control of the police, GSU (paramilitary), and military in advance of the 2012 elections. In this context, Ali is permitted to utilize extrajudicial killings to control organized gangs such as the Mungiki, which threaten to disrupt Kikuyu politics by operating in the heart of Central province. The police freelance in extorting money from the gangs and execute legitimate critics such as the Oscar Foundation principles. Noting that Ali does not take calls from ODM ministers, Kosgei wondered aloud why ODM has not forced the issue of his continued tenure during cabinet meetings.
A POLITICIZED NSIS
¶7. (C) Describing Gen. Michael Gichangi, the head of Kenya,s NSIS intelligence service as a &man who has no energy,8 Kosgei stated that the NSIS is picking up reports of emerging popular discontent and plans to disrupt public rallies with violent protests. However, she believes the President no longer reads NSIS reports and noted that Gichangi is more interested in collecting information on ODM leaders than issues of national importance.
¶8. (C) A/S Carson noted that there is talk of an emerging Kikuyu, Kalenjin, and Coast political alliance to contest the 2012 elections. Kosgei acknowledged that Ruto (Kalenjin), Deputy Prime Minister Kenyatta (Kikuyu), and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (Kamba) are indeed discussing an alliance, but believes that the discussions are an artifact of the Waki Commission (COMMENT: Both Ruto and Kenyatta are believed to be on the Waki Commissions, sealed list of 10 architects of the post election violence. END COMMENT). Ruto, in Kosgei,s view, is working with Uhuru to block key reforms and scuttle the Waki Commission,s call for a local tribunal to investigate the post election violence. However, she expects that Ruto will abandon Uhuru if he stumbles or is no longer useful. Kosgei (an ethnic Kalenjin) expressed doubt that Kikuyu voters in Central and Kalenjin voters in Rift Valley will be willing to set aside the violence suffered at each others hands to form a coalition in 2012.
¶9. (C) Reviewing other potential candidates, Kosgei noted that Uhuru is hindered by &laziness8 and a very hands off approach to running the Ministry of Finance. The recent submission of a budget containing &inaccuracies8 of more than 10 billion KSh ($130 million) has harmed Uhuru,s public image. Minister for Internal Security George Saitoti &has been appointed to every position he has held8 and lacks the skills to fight effectively for the Presidency. Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi (ODM) lacks the energy and money to seriously challenge Ruto. On the PNU side, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka &appears to be a diminishing asset8 who frets that he will be overshadowed by Mutula Kilonzo. Concluding her tour d,horizon, Kosgei stated that Odinga, despite his flaws, remains the strongest candidate in a crowded field thanks to strong opposition credentials and an accessible personality.
THE REAL FIGHT TO COME: BOUNDARIES
¶10. (C) As the conversation drew to a close, Kosgei stated that she expects the constitutional review process to be contentious, but argued that the real political battle ahead will be over provincial and constituency boundaries. Painfully aware that their support was limited to Central and parts of Eastern province in the last elections, the PNU wants to divide Kenya,s 9 provinces into 19 in order to relax the constitutional requirement that successful Presidential candidates receive at least 25 percent of the vote in 5 provinces. The PNU is also hoping to use the recently appointed boundaries commission to redraw parliamentary constituencies in their favor.
¶11. (C) The Ambassador concluded the conversation by noting that the current challenge in advancing the reform agenda is mobilizing broad public pressure on the political class, but this goal is hindered by Kenya,s deep ethnic divisions. Kosgei agreed that people across Kenya are restive, and predicted that the June 1 Madaraka day celebrations could turn violent.
¶12. (U) This cable has been cleared by A/S Carson and NSC Senior Director for Africa Gavin.
UHURU KENYATTA WILL NEVER RULE KENYA – MARTIN NGATIA