advertisement
Economy

UN denies Uhuru claim on civic education drive

A past civic education exercise in Kakamega. UNDP says the government had approved all its programmes in the country and that it does not interfere with the internal affairs of the country. PHOTO | FILE
A past civic education exercise in Kakamega. UNDP says the government had approved all its programmes in the country and that it does not interfere with the internal affairs of the country. PHOTO | FILE 

The United Nations has joined a growing list of global organisations dismissing suggestions by the government that some foreigners may be part of a plot to interfere with the next General Election.

Yesterday, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which has supported electoral agencies around the world and in Kenya since 2008, said the government had approved all its programmes in the country and it does not interfere with the internal affairs of the country.

“UN electoral assistance is provided only on the basis of a specific request from the national authorities, which, for Kenya, was received in 2014.

“Electoral assistance provided by the United Nations continues to be carried out in an objective, impartial, neutral and independent manner,” the UN agency said.

The statement followed that of 10 envoys from western countries and the European Union who rejected accusations that some donors were financing rogue civil society groups with the intention to cause chaos.

In his Jamhuri Day speech, President Uhuru Kenyatta accused an unnamed foreign forces of supporting the groups to interfere with the next elections due on August 08, 2017.

On Monday, NGO Coordination Board executive director Fazul Mahamed — who the Commission on Administrative Justice recently was unqualified for the job because he did not have a degree — barred an American NGO, IFES, from conducting a Sh2 billion electoral programme because it is unregistered in Kenya.

But the diplomats on Tuesday rejected the accusations of interference, arguing instead that their support is only meant to support systems and people to vote.

“To be clear, we do not provide electoral assistance to any organisation, governmental or non-governmental, to influence the election results for any side, political party, or candidate,” said the envoys including those from the European Union, UK, US, Sweden and  Canada in a statement.

“Rather, our assistance supports the Kenyan people to independently exercise their right to vote and have their voice heard.  The Kenyan people alone have the sovereign right to choose their leaders, and we fully respect this right.”

Others were from Germany, Australia, Finland, Netherlands, denmark and Norway.

The UNDP has been involved in similar programmes since 2014 in what it says was on Kenya’s request to support the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, and often in collaboration with Western donors.

advertisement