Godec’s passionate appeal for Kenyans to protect ‘precious, fragile’ democracy
Kenya’s democracy is precious but fragile, US Ambassador Robert Godec has said, and asked the people to defend it.
Godec said this on Friday night in his address to Generation Kenya youths.
They are an invaluable resource to the development of Kenya and the world, he said, adding they should spearhead change.
“It’s important now that everyone works to support and defend Kenya’s democracy and fundamental rights,” he noted.
“While you work to build a more prosperous future for yourselves, your families and your communities, I urge you to work hard to preserve the rights and freedoms of all Kenyans as well.”
Generation Kenya is one of the youth employment projects through which the United States said it will help 80,000 young men and women find good, productive jobs by 2020.
The Ambassador further noted that Kenyans have made great sacrifices for their independence so they must have the freedom necessary for success.
“[This] freedom [should not be] based on ethnicity or family connections but on your efforts and talents. Democracy and rights are also fragile.”
Godec said that in the recent months, democracy and freedom have been put at great risk by political ambition.
Key events include the swearing-in of Opposition leader Raila Odinga as the People’s President and the TV stations shut down that preceded this.
And as parts of efforts to suppress the National Resistance Movement, the government has arrested several of the coalition’s leaders.
Lawyer Miguna Miguna, who was deported to Canada over the oath, is planning a grand return on March 26.
At the base of these events is Nasa leaderss vehement refusal to recognise President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legitimacy.
Godec said: “It is important now that everyone – leaders and citizens – work to support and defend Kenya’s democracy and fundamental rights.”
He added Kenyans should listen to each other carefully and work out their differences.
“Work to understand your own concerns, but also those of all your fellow citizens. Find ways to protect your Constitution and move your country forward to an ever better, ever more democratic and free, future,” he advised.
“You have taken a step forward today in making yourselves all that you can be. Do the same for Kenya. As you do so, the United States will stand with you.”
US Ambassador Robert Godec with Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja during a meeting in Nairobi with Generation Kenya youths, February 23, 2018. /COURTESY
Last week, Godec rejected claims by Nasa MPs that the United States was bribed to support the Jubilee government.
The MPs alleged that the US acted in defence of vested interests after accepting the military aircraft and Mombasa-Nairobi highway deals.
The envoy dismissed the claims as “completely and totally false”.
“There is no basis for those claims,” he said, adding comments by the diplomatic community were balanced and did not favour either the government or the Opposition.
He called for dialogue to resolve the present standoff.
Raila, who has dismissed the call, is laying claim to the presidency arguing that he was rigged out. Following in his footsteps in condemning Godec, NRM youth told envoys to stop meddling with Kenya’s politics.