President Uhuru Kenyatta has accused foreign institutions of supporting efforts by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) to unseat him in the 2017 General Election.
In his Jamhuri Day speech at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi on Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said foreign agencies were channeling money into the country, under the disguise of supporting voter education programmes, with keen intention of influencing the elections.
“Money is coming in from abroad, in disguise of supporting good governance and voter education, though their intention is to influence our electoral choices,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Monday, December 12, 2016.
“Kenyans do not look kindly to such actions. This is our country and no one should control our choices for their own selfish interest.”
Though President Kenyatta did not mention who the foreign entities were, 411 News can authoritatively confirm that top on the list is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Jubilee government has in the past launched scathing attacks directed at USAID over alleged attempts to distablise the government.
The US agency was also accused of procuring witnesses to testify against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In February 2014, the then Secretary to the Cabinet and the chairman of the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) Francis Kimemia accused USAID, the biggest contributor to NGOs, of funding protests to delineate Jubilee government as a failed administration.
In October 2016, US announced that it had lined up Ksh200 million to fund innovative ideas to ensure the 2017 General Election slated for August, 8, 2017 are free and fair.
The money is set to be channeled to civil society organisations, community based organisations, NGOs, religious institutions and not-for-profit firms to rollout electoral programmes including voter registration and education, women and youth participation in the elections and setting up early warning response mechanism.
The aid agency has enlisted the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) to implement the project dubbed Kenya Electoral Assistance Programme set to begin this December and end in October 2017.
The programme is headed by Julie Hughes, who previously ran political campaigns for Democratic Congress Members in the United States.
Hughes has more than 12 years of experience leading and implementing similar projects in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Namibia, Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has seen this move as a scheme to use money to influence the elections and persuade votes to support Opposition coalition CORD. He called on the agencies to instead channel the money to IEBC to carry out civic education.
It is highly unlikely though that USAID will heed President Kenyatta’s call, if their past stand on the matter is anything to go by.
The United States government, through its embassy in Nairobi, has in the past rejected a similar request saying they would not directly finance IEBC but instead support the electoral process by helping build systems that would ensure the 2017 elections are credible.
Britain has also shown interest in Kenya’s elections by channeling Ksh563 million to IEBC, through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to ensure a flawless election.