Home Politics Why America did’nt want Raila president – Weekly Citizen

Why America did’nt want Raila president – Weekly Citizen

by kenya-tribune
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Fresh details are emerging that the United States of America led the West in frustrating Raila Odinga’s bid for presidency in the August 9 poll.

Raila himself disclosed the West conspired against him when he claimed Ruto is a puppet of the West and is now working for the interest of foreign powers and not Kenya.

The ODM leader made the startling remarks a day after Ruto’s government announced its intentions to import genetically modified maize to deal with the growing food scarcity situation in the country.

Raila alluded that the importation of the GMOs was one of the conditions the West gave Ruto in return to influencing his election as president.

Similar lamentations were also made by Raila’s daughter Winnie when she claimed Western countries were used to influence the outcome of the August 9 presidential election which Ruto won.

Winnie alleged the Western countries manipulated election outcome in favour of their preferred leader to take care of their interests.

Winnie Odinga

But what Raila and daughter are not revealing is that at the heart of the matter was Raila’s association with blacklisted drug barons, some with arrest warrant hanging over their heads in US and other western countries.

The US government whose country is facing existential threat from drugs addiction from bottom to top has zero tolerance for drug dealers and can even invade countries hosting them to smoke them from their hideouts.

In Kenya, sources revealed that the US was concerned that after the famous March 9 2018 handshake between president Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, the war on drug barons slowed down due to the ODM leader’s alleged influence as most of them were financing his political activities over the years.

This was in contrast to 2014 when Uhuru won the admiration of the US after destroying a drugs ship in the Indian Ocean.

But after the handshake, the US concluded that Uhuru slowed down on the war on drug barons for fear of antagonising Raila who was now no longer a thorn in his government.

Insiders revealed that Raila’s goose was cooked when the extradited Akasha brothers in their confessions revealed that they had been funding his campaigns via former Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and his brother Abubakar Joho.

Hassan Joho

The Akasha brothers – Ibrahim and Baktash – were arrested in Mombasa in November 2014 in a USled trap operation and flown to US to face drug trafficking charges.

The US had used its agents pretending to be drug dealers to snare the Akashas.

Two other men, Gulam Hussein, a Pakistani, and Vijaygiri Goswami, an Indian, were also arrested and charged with taking part in the scheme.

Goswami was the first to cooperate with US authorities when he disclosed Akashas associates and also politicians and security officials in Kenya who were in their payroll.

His confession was followed by that of the Akasha brothers who pleaded guilty in October 2018.

The Akasha duo named Joho as having links with drug trafficking, adding that the former Mombasa county boss was one of Raila’s key presidential financiers.

What annoyed the Americans to the brim was the fact that Raila had promised to name Joho in his cabinet as Lands minister.

Apart from drugs link, the Americans concern was Raila’s association with governors linked to corruption and those in Uhuru cabinet.

To Western capitals, Raila had fallen hostage of corrupt people in Uhuru’s regime and tycoons linked to mega scandals, thus would not make any substantial or major changes if he won.

The Akashas also named Mombasa tycoon Ali Punjani, a close associate to Joho’s brother, Abubakar, Swaleh Kandereni, Billy Mahandi and Swaleh Ahmed, among others, all who were backing Raila presidency.

In fact it is said that the tycoons funded Raila on grounds that he names Joho to strategic Lands ministry to enable them grab public lands at the Coast.

It is imperative to note that Ruto’s administration has of late been active in repossessing public land in Mombasa.

The Americans had to think twice in their support for Raila, preferring to back Ruto who hammered a memorandum of understanding with them to wipe out drug trade.

Sources added that the West also feared Raila like the Uhuru regime would have gone to bed with poachers.

They relied on a report by Satao Project, a private company focused on fighting poaching, which said Kenya had a network that was also linked to around 30 tonnes of ivory seizures that spread in East and Central Africa.

The West feared poachers, including a 62-year-old Kenyan who pleaded guilty to poaching charges in a US court.

After he was beaten by Ruto, Raila stated that Azimio election victory was not stolen by Kenya Kwanza coalition but was an international conspiracy involving America and Britain.

Raila charged that a former president of the US was on Smartmatic board.

A further signal that US wanted Ruto as Kenya’s fifth president was sent when president Joe Biden dispatched a powerful delegation to his swearing-in at Kasarani Stadium.

The presidential delegation was led by United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and comprised United States ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman, Colin Allred the Texas representative, Mary Phee the assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State and Monde Muyangwa, assistant administrator for the Bureau for Africa, US Agency for International Development.

During the Supreme Court hearing of Raila’s petition challenging Ruto’s win, the US embassy further sent alarm bells ringing when it issued a travel advisory cautioning its citizens against travelling to Kisumu.

What surprised Azimio was that the advisory was issued before the Supreme Court delivered the ruling, meaning the US knew in advance that the petition would be struck out by the Chief Justice Martha Koomeled bench.

Tellingly, days before the August 9 voting, the embassy had further issued a travel alert urging its citizens not to travel to Kisumu.

The alert on August 2 raised eyebrows that the US knew what the outcome of the presidential race would be even before the voters cast their ballots, and that is why it was cautioning its citizens against visiting the losing candidate’s bedrock.

Reports indicate the US and Britain were instrumental in Ruto’s win as they had identified the former deputy president as their next blueeyed boy in Africa to contain Chinese influence in the continent.

When Ruto visited the two countries ahead of the elections, they gauged his speeches and were convinced he was the ideal leader to cut the Chinese growing influence where Beijing’s elite are defining a new Africa strategy crafted against the backdrop of the country’s intensifying global rivalry with them.

As part of the strategy to contain China in Kenya and Africa, Ruto was directed to release the damning standard gauge railway contract between the two countries.

The strategy is to expose how China has been exploiting Kenya through skewed contracts that only benefit Beijing while leaving Nairobi in big debts.

In his campaigns, Ruto’s pledges were to reverse policies that benefited Chinese at the expense of Kenyans like the legal and administrative changes guiding SGR — a pet project of Uhuru’s administration.

It is worth noting that after the handshake, Uhuru took Raila to China.

Ruto after the election instantly turned to West with his first diplomatic charm offensive being to UK and US where he held bilateral talks with their leaders.

In UK, he had joined other leaders from across the world at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey and later attended a reception hosted by King Charles III for world leaders at Buckingham Palace.

Insiders revealed that the West also in backing Ruto who would award their companies lucrative tenders.

Today, Ruto is scheming to award a tender to build the 473-km Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway to the American firm, Bechtel Executive.

The US firm which is eyeing the lucrative multibillion shilling tender is now in a joint partnership with a US Capital Investment Company, Everstrong Capital.

Washington is piling pressure on Ruto to order the Kenya National Highway Authority to sidestep Korean Overseas Infrastructure and Development Corporation which showed interest in the tender after it submitted a Privately Initiated Investment Proposal for the development of the highway.

Ruto also plans to revive the Sh56 billion airport tender cancelled eight years ago after America raised security concerns that a Chinese was doing the work.

The tender was cancelled in March 2016 after Sh4.2 billion had been paid to the contractor in advance and Sh75 million spent on a groundbreaking ceremony that was presided over by Uhuru on May 23 2014.

Chinese firms Anhui Civil Engineering Group and China Aero Technology Engineering International Corporation had been selected to build the project but signals are that it will now be awarded to an American firm.

Under Ruto, the US and UK will fund the establishment of a Kenya military camp in Turkana, again as another way of containing Chinese influence.

Already, the Turkana county government and the ministry of Defence have signed an agreement allocating 145,792 acres for military bases in Turkana.

The bases are ostensibly to prevent cattle rustling, banditry and other crimes across Turkana but in real sense, it is to anchor America’s military presence in Africa.

With the military help, Kenya will rival Djibouti as the most strategically located in Africa to safeguard America’s interests.

For UK, it will also build the new multipurpose dam in Kitui and Tharaka Nithi counties at cost of Sh425 billion.

This was hammered by Ruto and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak when they met in Egypt.

The building of the dam, which will be Kenya’s second most expensive infrastructure project after the standard gauge railway, is part of six projects worth Sh500 billion to be fast-tracked under a new UK pact signed on the sidelines of the Climate Conference COP27 in Egypt.

China two years ago had proposed to build the multipurpose dam at Kitui and Tharaka Nithi at a cost of Sh150 billion but that is now water under the bridge.

Insiders revealed that US and Britain pushed Ruto to retain former Energy and Petroleum cabinet secretary Monica Juma as the national security adviser as they eye to displace China as Kenya’s most preferred trading partner.

Monica Juma

In 2021, Juma the then Defence cabinet secretary signed the five-year Defence Cooperation Agreement with Britain which allowed UK troops to continue training in Kenya.

She signed the pact alongside UK Defence secretary Ben Wallace, winning the admiration of the two countries.

But Ruto has not completely shut the door for Chinese as he is also wooing Beijing to fund his mega projects.

For instance, a few days ago, his United Democratic Alliance chairman Johnson Muthama with Ruto’s blessings, hosted a delegation from the Communist Party of China for a benchmarking tour.

The benchmarking meeting was held at Hustlers Plaza along Ngong Road Nairobi and an interview with CCTV held.

Days earlier, Ruto had reaffirmed his commitment to maintaining strong ties with China during talks with the country’s envoy Zhou Pingjian.

The president met with the special representative of the Chinese government where they exchanged views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.

Insiders added that after the election, Raila received a call from Washington warning him that if he dared call for mass action to protest the Supreme Court verdict, and there were chaos, he would be charged with crime against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

There are reports the US called Uhuru two weeks ago and directed him to tell Raila to stop calling for demonstrations to destabilise the Ruto’s regime failure to which the two would face the music.

 

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