During her high profile visit in August 2012, media reports indicated that the US was not ready to work with the then Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto in the event that they were elected in the elections which had been slated for December 2012.
Mrs Clinton had also openly talked about the need for action to be taken against perpetrators of the 2007/8 post-election violence – a message that was largely seen as directed at Kenyatta and Ruto since they were facing charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC.
“Because of the violence in 2007, Kenya lost more than a billion dollars in investment. The GDP dropped significantly,” she told a group of civil society groups at the US embassy.
“Do your part to make sure this election is free, fair and transparent and that all Kenyans accept the results, and do your part to speak out against divisiveness,” she added.
The most dramatic incident that showed Clinton’s apathy towards Kenyatta and Ruto occurred at the Supreme Court where she met with then-Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.
As is standard protocol, meetings between Kenyan officials and foreign government officials are held in the presence of the host nation’s Foreign Affairs Minister or a representative from the ministry.
However, when Clinton met Mutunga, then Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Ongeri (and a close ally of Kenyatta) was unceremoniously locked out of the meeting.
Ruto and Kenyatta expressed their anger at Clinton’s actions and even accused her of planning to lock them out of the presidential race.
“Clinton has told the government that Mr Kenyatta and I are not supposed to run. She has also hinted that America will impose sanctions on us if we participate in the polls and win. This is dictatorship,” Ruto had complained.
“It is not for foreigners nor for the courts to decide who should vie for the presidency; it is up to the over 40 million Kenyans,” Kenyatta told his supporters while Clinton was still on his Nairobi tour.