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‘Politico’ writer attacks Uhuru, tells Obama not to visit Kenya

A columnist of the America’s Politico magazine have viciously attacked president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto and advised US President Barack Obama to cancel his planned July trip to Kenya.

Robert I. Rotberg, a Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center and founding director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Intrastate Conflict is urging Obama to rethink his trip because insecurity, corruption and ICC cases, among other issues.

“Meeting with unsavory heads of state is, admittedly, part of an American president’s job. But we can continue to be friendly to Kenya without our president paying a visit and, by so doing, conferring legitimacy. Secretary of State Kerry has conferred sufficient legitimacy for the moment,” writes Rotberg in the piece that has been widely shared among Kenyans on social media.

Although the magazine passes itself as a leftist when it comes to American politics, a 2007 opinion piece, progressive watchdog group Media Matters for America accused it of having a “Republican tilt”.


In article titled Going to Kenya is a dumb idea, Mr. President, he also claims that Obama’s trip will hurt Kenya’s fragile national unity when he decides to visit Kogelo village in Siaya where his father was born.

Rotberg further delves in the little matter of corruption saying it reaches “high into the upper echelons of the ruling parties in all three countries”.

“Conferring the honor of President Obama’s office on such thoroughly questionable leaders would do little to strengthen our own role as a promoter of good governance and the rule of law,” he argues.

“Would Kenyans and other Africans (not to mention Americans at home) not wonder at our policy inconsistencies?”

Rotberg also says Kenya should use its meagre resources to address other more pressing matters instead of guarding President Obama. He estimates that it will cost approximately $60 million to secure the American president during his visit.

“That developing nation has better uses for its limited cash than protecting a visiting head of state who need not visit their country until after he leaves office,” he says.