Godec has our full support: US State Department
The State Department declared that US Ambassador Robert Godec “has our full confidence and support”.
The affirmation by Amanda Jacobsen, spokeswoman for the department’s Bureau of Africa Affairs, came in response to a Nation query regarding the call by some Nasa MPs for Ambassador Godec’s removal.
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said on Monday that the opposition grouping planned to lodge a formal protest with the US Senate over Ambassador Godec’s “profound vendetta” against Nasa leader Raila Odinga.
Mr Wandayi charged that “”Mr Godec’s continued stay in the country is injurious to the long-term relationship between the people of Kenya and the US.”
The Nasa legislator accused the ambassador of responding to the interests of “only a section of Kenya.”
“This was confirmed on January 30,” Mr Wandayi added, “when Mr Godec convinced the other Nasa principals to isolate Mr Odinga as he took ‘oath’ as the people’s president.”
Ambassador Godec did direct critical comments at the Jubilee government on Monday — the same day Mr Wandayi was accusing the envoy of favouring Nasa’s political rival.
“The US again urges the government of Kenya to allow TV stations to re-open,” Ambassador Godec said in a Twitter message on Monday. “Free media is essential to democracy. So is adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law. Court orders must be respected.”
Noting that Mr Godec has held the post of Washington’s envoy to Nairobi since 2013, Ms Jacobsen said in a State Department email message on Tuesday that “he continues to serve at the pleasure of the (US) president.”
Even though Ambassador Godec’s tenure now exceeds that of most of his recent predecessors, President Trump is not known to be planning to replace him.
The White House did not publicly respond to a suggestion last May by a few US lawmakers that the head of a Kenya-based charity be tapped as a successor to Ambassador Godec.
All seven Republican members of the House of Representatives from the state of Illinois had urged Mr Trump in a joint letter to nominate Kyle McCarter as the next US ambassador to Kenya.
Mr McCarter, a Republican member of the Illinois state legislature, heads Each One Feed One, an NGO with a school and clinic in Tharaka-Nithi County.
The letter writers offered no criticisms of Ambassador Godec’s performance.