News / USA

WikiLeaks Prompts Kenyan Leaders' Push for Recall of US Envoy

US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger speaks during an American Chamber of Commerce quarterly luncheon, in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan 26, 2010 (file photo)
US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger speaks during an American Chamber of Commerce quarterly luncheon, in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan 26, 2010 (file photo)
Michael Onyiego

One week after WikiLeaks exposed several classified assessments of Kenya's leaders, United States Ambassador Michael Ranneberger is being accused by prominent politicians of meddling in Kenya's affairs, with many calling for the envoy's removal.

Since the release of classified cables by WikiLeaks on December 8 and 9, Michael Ranneberger has been called a rogue ambassador and many politicians are demanding his recall to Washington.

Kenya celebrates its most important national holiday every December 12 to mark the country's independence from Britain in 1963, as well as its foundation of a constitutional republic in 1964.

But on Sunday, the day also was marked with harsh words for the U.S. ambassador to Kenya. Speaking at a celebration in Nairobi, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki criticized Ranneberger for his alleged attempts to influence national affairs.

The president said Ranneberger was using money to influence Kenyan youth and destabilize the country. Kibaki assured the crowd, however, that the ambassador's efforts were made in vain.

Ranneberger is widely known for his youth outreach efforts in Kenya. Recently, politicians have accused him of using U.S. aid programs to incite the nation's youth and foment change in the country's leadership. Last week, Prime Minister Raila Odinga asked Ranneberger to end his outreach campaigns.

The Prime Minister called Sunday for Kenya's international partners to respect its people as well as its sovereignty.

In the WikiLeaks exposed communiqués to Washington, Rannenberger cited Kenya's "rampant, high-level corruption" - as well as its "culture of impunity" - as the two main obstacles in the path of reform. He included the president and prime minister as part of an "old guard" with vested interests in the culture of impunity.  

Many in the upper echelons of Kenyan Government have denounced Ranneberger, comparing him to former U.S. Envoy Smith Hempstone, who was a vocal critic of Kenya's one-party state under former President Daniel Moi, and who openly campaigned for democratic elections during his tenure from 1989-1993.

But some in Kenya have defended Ranneberger's cables. Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Director Patrick Lumumba said Monday the cables reflect the true state of corruption in Kenya. He called for Kenya's leaders to fight graft and save Kenya's economy.

Nairobi University School of Diplomacy and International Relations Professor Gerrishon Ikiara said the damage done to the Ambassador's credibility likely will prompt his recall to Washington.

"You cannot effectively serve as an ambassador if you serve in a situation, which is very poisoned in terms of mistrust between you and the principals in that country and the public," said Ikiara. "He has touched on so many people and sometimes not in flattering terms. And also sometimes not in exact terms."

Neither the ambassador nor the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has issued a statement regarding the cables.

In addition to his assessment of Kenyan leaders, the envoy's cables also have highlighted Kenya's role in smuggling arms into southern Sudan, its growing importance in international narcotics trafficking, and China's growing influence in Kenya.

Ranneberger has served as U.S. Ambassador to Kenya since July 2006.


You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid