This morning, the UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, was a guest on Luo radio station Ramogi FM to discuss the Kenyan elections and the decision by the Supreme Court to re-run the presidential vote.
While the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has come under criticism following the ruling, Mr Hailey said they “need to do their job” but acknowledged that they “need to make changes to make the elections better.”
Speaking to Victor Otieno Juma, the High Commissioner described the Supreme Court ruling as “historic”, adding “everyone needs to work out how to implement the outcomes and respect the ruling.”
“We’ve spoken to both sides urging them to respect the institutions of the country there’s only one Supreme Court and one IEBC,” he said.
The High Commissioner said that competitive politics was something Kenyans should celebrate and that divisive rhetoric isn’t helpful. He explained that there are tribal politics in the UK as well, but that what unites the people “is bigger than what divides us”.
Addressing the topic of corruption in politics, Mr Hailey said: “Corruption undermines institutions, as international partners we can help but Kenyans need to fix it.”
He revealed that he had asked the Presidential candidates to use good will as they campaign.
On the subject of reported police violence, he reiterated that while the UK is a close partner of Kenya, they had said a number of times that “no-one should die because of an election.”
The High Commissioner also said that he is a “huge supporter of free media,” adding: “If we see attacks we will argue the case to whoever is responsible.”
On the subject of the UK’s neutrality in the elections, he said: “We support no party or family. We work with the duly elected government of Kenya. We support the institutions.”