alexa MP moves to censure US envoy - Daily Nation

MP moves to censure US envoy

Wednesday December 15 2010

Michael Ranneberger, the US envoy to Kenya, The envoy described President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Cabinet ministers as beneficiaries of grand corruption. Photo/FILE

Michael Ranneberger, the US envoy to Kenya, The envoy described President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Cabinet ministers as beneficiaries of grand corruption. Photo/FILE 

By ALPHONCE SHIUNDU [email protected]

An MP wants Parliament to discuss the conduct of US ambassador Michael Ranneberger.

Mr Silas Ruteere (Imenti North, Mazingira) tabled a notice of motion saying the leaked diplomatic cables “had portrayed Kenyan leaders in negative light.”

“…this House censures H.E. Michael Ranneberger, the American ambassador to Kenya, for his undiplomatic conduct and resolves that he be recalled back and another official be deployed in his place in order to preserve the existing cordial relations between the two countries,” reads the motion.

He said because the envoy had engaged in politics in the run-up to the referendum and had given youth money, “his conduct was in contravention of Article 41 of the Vienna Convention.”

The convention requires diplomats to respect the laws and regulations of their host state and “not to interfere with the internal affairs of the state.”

The leaked cables released by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks rubbed the Executive the wrong way.

Reporting on the cables, German newspaper Der Spiegel said: “Almost every single sentence in the embassy reports speaks with disdain of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.”

The envoy described President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Cabinet ministers as beneficiaries of grand corruption.

The President and Prime Minister told off the envoy on Sunday during celebrations to mark Jamhuri Day. They accused Mr Ranneberger of mischief, and fell short of demanding he be recalled by Washington.

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka accused the envoy of abusing Kenya’s sovereignty, while Mr Odinga asked Mr Ranneberger to stop behaving like a colonial governor.

However, the director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Prof PLO Lumumba, has defended Mr Ranneberger, saying, “sometimes it is good to have a visitor in your house that you are so much used to. He may find a cobweb and remove it.”

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo had an unflattering message to his Cabinet colleagues, whom he indirectly accused of implicating themselves and the Head of State when they meet ambassadors.

He said there was “some truth” in reports that there was corruption in the Cabinet.

“Even if it is one minister who is doing it and he’s not been arrested and prosecuted, as the Wakamba say, it takes only one fly to rot a whole cow,” he said.