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Kenyan Officials Tell German Ambassador Not To Interfere In Country's Affairs

Kenyan officials have reacted sharply to a call by German ambassador Bernd Braun for a snap election, accusing him of meddling in the country’s affairs. In a press conference held yesterday by the Confederation of Trade Union, General Secretary Francis Atwoli described Mr. Braun's call as unfortunate and colonial. He told the envoy to stop poking his nose in Kenya's affairs. “They should respect this country; we are saying yes, we have our own problems and even if Kenyans want a snap election, let it be Kenyans [who decide].” Mr. Atwoli noted that whereas Mr. Braun has the right to speak his mind, he has no mandate to call for a snap election. Mr. Atwoli asked, “Since when did Kenyans give out such mandate to a foreign envoy to decide on our election calendar?” Many more leaders expressed their displeasure at the pronouncement of the ambassador, saying Kenya is capable of handling its own affairs. MP P.G. Mureithi also criticized the call, saying it was in bad taste and did not recognize Kenya's sovereignty. From the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, Mr. Atwoli tells English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey why Kenya should be seen as a free and independent nation.