Martha Karua urges politicians to use President Obama's visit constructively

Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua. She has urged Kenyan politicians to use their meeting with President Barack Obama constructively and not to wash their "dirty linen" in public. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee administration should not be the agenda of talks, Karua said.
  • She, however, asked the government to shed off its bad history of failing to act on intelligence reports from foreign friends.
  • Mr Wetang’ula said they would expose President Kenyatta’s poor record on governance to Obama.
  • The leaders said they would not “gloss over” issues just to please the Jubilee administration during the meeting.

Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua has asked politicians “not to wash their dirty linen” before US President Barack Obama, who is expected to visit the country on Friday.

Ms Karua said President Obama’s visit should be used to discuss critical issues such as trade and security.

According to the former Justice minister, the performance of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee administration should not be the agenda of talks between the US president and Kenyan politicians over the weekend.

The US embassy has indicated that besides holding bilateral talks with President Kenyatta, Mr Obama will meet Opposition leaders and members of the civil society.

“We don’t expect anybody to think that a visiting head of state should sort (out) our internal problems even if he has roots in Kenya,” Ms Karua said on Citizen TV’s "Cheche" morning show.

“What friends can do in our own affairs is to offer support and help. We can then seek support on certain issues, but resolving those issues will be left to us Kenyans,” she added.

Opposition leaders have indicated that insecurity and escalating levels of corruption in government will top the agenda during their meeting with President Obama.

Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang'ula has said that he and his colleagues were disturbed by what he called President Kenyatta's doublespeak on the fight against graft.

Mr Wetang’ula said they would expose President Kenyatta’s poor record on governance to Obama.

"Our hospitals are lacking medicine yet corruption is taking a deep root under the watch of the Jubilee government," he said.

PRESENT TRUE PICTURE TO OBAMA

ODM Secretary-General Ababu Namwamba and Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o said they would present the country’s true picture to President Obama, whose father was Kenyan.

The leaders said they would not “gloss over” issues just to please the Jubilee administration during the meeting.

“A government that disbands an anticorruption commission and still claims to be on top of things fighting graft is irresponsible and lying to its citizens.

“The Opposition knows what is at stake here and will relay that information to the leader,” said Prof Nyong’o.

“We should point out that we require support in the fight against terrorism, which affects Kenya’s economy as it scares (away) people beyond our borders including investors and tourists,” said Ms Karua.

She, however, asked the government to shed off its bad history of failing to act on intelligence reports from foreign friends.

“Whatever America proposes to do or is willing to do will be of no effect if the Kenyan government is not willing to collaborate.

“The responsibility of our government is to protect its citizens,” said the former Gichugu MP.

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