Raila tells off US ambassador over remarks on 'fairest' elections

Whitman on Wednesday praised Kenya for holding peaceful and credible elections in August last year.

"I arrived in Kenya days before the August 2022 General Election. What I witnessed was nothing short of remarkable," she said.

"Kenya held what many analysts and commentators say was the freest, fairest, and most credible election in Kenyan history."

Whitman added that the elections were observed by local and international organisations, upheld by the Supreme Court, and power was transferred peacefully.

However, yesterday, the former prime minister dismissed those remarks that also irked Kenya Kwanza leaders in attendance.

"Seeing what was said yesterday (Wednesday), I wonder what I should term my talk to you today. There is a Swahili saying that nyani haoni kundule (an ape does not see its behind). This is what I saw yesterday," Raila said.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga (second left) at a stand during the 8th Devolution Conference in Eldoret. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

But Kenya Kwanza leaders, led by governors Stephen Sang (Nandi), and senators Veronica Maina (nominated) and Samson Cherargei (Nandi), criticised Raila over his remarks.

"We cannot entertain the doublespeak by Raila. We know he was pained by the serious points delivered by the president," said Sang during a press conference by Kenya Kwanza leaders.

"We are telling him to prepare for another explosive speech by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on how the government is supporting devolution."

The DP chairs the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC), which has ensured counties get their devolved funds on time.

"Ambassador Whitman described what is happening on the ground," said Sang.

Maina said they were surprised by Raila's remarks, saying the ambassador cannot be reckless to make careless remarks.

"The ambassador uttered words as a witness, saying she was in the country just before the commencement of the elections. She has considered the process in Bomas and the court," she said.

She said the opposition leader is seeking attention by wrongly rebuking the ambassador.