Kenyans were left bewildered last weekend to learn that several Western countries had allegedly threatened members of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) with travel bans should they not resign their offices forthwith.
Kenya’s foreign ministry was swift to call the nearly unprecedented attempt on the sovereignty of a Kenyan institution “a blatant breach of diplomatic protocol,” reminiscent of true colonial “master/servant” practice and the worst neo-colonial behavior witnessed for quite some time now.
The Kenyan Electoral Commission has indeed been under public scrutiny and pressure following the aftermath of the end 2007 elections and publication of results, but it must be stressed that this is entirely for the Kenyan government and people to resolve without overt or covert interference by certain Western powers, who have their own agenda with Kenya and are trying to use this domestic issue to re-assert themselves and carve out concessions over the use of harbors, airports, airspace and related matters, where the Kenyan government in the past has stood firm and promoted their own interests first and foremost.
The “bullies” are notably some EU member states but also the US, and it is understood that a formal protest note was sent to those countries diplomatic missions in Nairobi. Allegations had earlier surfaced in Nairobi that some “diplomats” had visited the chairman of the ECK’s office and demanded he and his fellow commissioners resign or else have their visa clearances withdrawn, prompting accusations of blackmail not befitting for accredited diplomatic staff.