Opposition’s Azimio One Kenya Coalition has accused president William Ruto’s administration of diplomatic goof and mishandling ties between Kenya and other East African Community (EAC) countries.
In his statement, the opposition leader cited the failure of the regional leaders failing to grace the 60th Jamhuri Day celebrations that were held last week claiming that they did not attend due to the tiff created by the William Ruto government.
Odinga claim that the Kenya Kwanza regime has been damaging the existing ties within EAC in a series of gaffes, with the latest being with the Ugandan government over fuel transport and Rwanda after the Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen made controversial remarks terming Rwanda as an autocratic state.
“None of our neighbouring EAC countries were represented at the level of President, Vice President, or Prime Minister as would have been expected on such a significant occasion that has been the tradition until we have taken it for granted.” Odinga said in his statement.
He added that the government should tell its citizens that it is not the neighbouring countries that are to be blamed for the negative developments.
“We must tell Kenyans that our neighbors are not to blame for this negative development in our relationship. At the center of the continuing damage of our relationship in EAC is the unbridled greed and corruption as practiced by the Kenya Kwanza Ruto government and the arrogance and foul mouth that has come with it.” He said.
The outspoken former prime minister referred to the recent suit by the Ugandan government on the move by the country to impose fees on Petroleum products that transit through the Mombasa port.
He said Uganda is a landlocked country and thus Kenya ought to allow the free movement of products as recognized by international treaties.
“Uganda has been forced to go to the High Court in Kenya through its Uganda Petroleum Company to challenge a formula instigated by the Kenya Kwanza cartel that forces the sovereign state of Uganda to have its petroleum products transiting through Kenya to pay a “middleman” fee.” Raila noted.
Raila said the Kenya Kwanza cartel has undermined the letter and the spirit of the EAC treaty
“Uganda has been forced to seek a different route through Dar-es-salaam and the other EAC countries will follow suit and Kenya will be the looser eventually. For example, the long-distance haulage industry will collapse and Kenyan businesses will have to close down. More people will lose jobs. We don’t think that our girls being employed as maids in the Middle Eastern countries will be able to bridge such a gap.” He added.
Further, the Azimio chief cited Murkomen’s pronouncement on Rwanda as an autocracy of the government acting undiplomatically.
He condemned the sentiments made by the CS terming them as “Unfortunate and undiplomatic” as they have caused a public outrage.
He stated that statecraft and diplomacy require a different and more sophisticated etiquette beyond expensive watches, suits, and walking sticks adding that the coarse language used against a country like Rwanda and its people is unfortunate.
Raila added that Kenya will pay for the recklessness of Kenya Kwanza.
“Our Country will pay a hefty price for the recklessness of Kenya Kwanza.” He said.
While speaking on a local TV earlier this week, Murkomen said Kenya should not be compared to Rwanda in terms of development adding that “Kigali is an autocracy where whatever the president says is the law.”