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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Kibaki sought UK invitation for a year" - WikiLeaks

The British Government accepted President Kibaki’s visit to London last year to “deliver tough political messages”, one of America’s leaked diplomatic cables says. The cable also claims the President had sought the invitation for over one year. The trip was to take place on February 23-24, 2010.

But as usual, the Government Repudiator-In-Chief, Dr Alfred Mutua, on Sunday denied the claim, saying that it was the UK that had invited the President but he failed to go due to other commitments.

The cable, dated January 12, 2010, quotes UK’s Horn of Africa team leader, Ms Chloe Hamborg, terming the visit a “difficult decision” and the visit would also be used to “extend the UK’s diplomatic leverage” in Kenya. “It was a ‘difficult decision’ to extend the invitation to Kibaki but indicated that the UK Government ultimately decided in favour of the visit in order to ‘deliver tough political messages’ (including through a one-hour one-on-one meeting with UK Prime Minister Brown) and to ‘extend the UK’s diplomatic leverage’ in Kenya,” the cable claims. Ms Hamborg is said to have explained that the UK wanted to grant the visit “in anticipation of difficult conversations about reform over the coming year”.

The leaks add that the UK wanted to clearly deliver its reform messages in private before it does so in public. Ms Hamborg is also said to have stated that there would “be few deliverables from the visit” relating to some development projects on health or climate change. “She noted that the health package was also in the pipeline and may only be announced during the Kibaki visit,” the cable states. The US embassy in London said, according to the dossier, the UK Government may have decided to invite President Kibaki for political purposes.

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