On July 19, 2023, the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Dr. Alfred Mutua briefed the diplomatic corps on the recent public demonstrations in the country.
Addressing the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, High Commissioners, Ambassadors, and Heads of Mission, CS Mutua expressed his appreciation for Kenya’s steadfast relations with the representatives of friendly countries.
He underscored that Kenya was a lucrative holiday destination for a large number of tourists and noted that many Kenyans travel abroad to visit, study or live while the majority of Kenyans regard themselves as global citizens fully aware that we live in an interconnected world.
“We all cherish peace that we see as the cornerstone of economic and social development. We salute members of the international community who have supported Kenya’s quest to promote peace and security in our region,” CS Mutua said, adding that, “as a country we are proud of the role we have played in planting and watering the seed of peace and democracy in several countries.”
The Cabinet Secretary highlighted that, public demonstrations, so-called ‘maandamano’, began in March 2023 spearheaded by the opposition. The Government made efforts to stem the violent protests such as opening the window of discussions to address the challenges faced by our nation. Regrettably, these public demonstrations have seen a number of Kenyans lose their lives.
Kenya agreed to hold bi-partisan talks with the opposition, joined by various stakeholders including religious leaders and business communities. In May, the talks failed and maandamano continued in July to protest against the passage of The Finance Bill 2023 and high cost of living.
CS Mutua remained cognizant of the high cost of living emphasizing that it was, indeed, a global challenge, not unique to Kenya, and was as a result of a myriad of factors including COVID-19, the War in Ukraine, rising prices of oil and the negative effects of climate change.
The Cabinet Secretary stressed that Kenyans are themselves global citizens who live in a global village and peace was of utmost importance in that it was the cornerstone of socioeconomic development. He appealed to the envoys to remain truthful and adhere to international set precendent while commenting on the status of the country.
“Kenya has always upheld the rule of law, protected human rights, and maintained peace and security,” Dr. Mutua assured the envoys.