Kenya's president says 'tired of interference' from diplomats

By: 
Reuters
Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

NAIROBI: Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta criticised foreign envoys on Sunday, telling them the East African nation was "tired of interference".

It is not clear if Kenyatta was referring to a statement by 11 envoys who sounded alarm bells about the scale of corruption in the region's biggest economy.

The United States, Britain and nine other countries on Thursday said Kenya faced a "corruption crisis" and pledged to step up efforts to prevent funds leaving the country and pushing for those who commit graft to be prosecuted.

In a statement the 11 ambassadors pledged to help return stolen assets to Kenya and impose travel restrictions on those responsible for graft.

But the presidency said in a statement envoys ought to stop meddling with Kenya’s internal affairs, and not disturb peace in the country.

"That is why we are telling those people who are trying to incite Kenyans on issues that are long forgotten that we are tired of their interference," the presidency quoted Kenyatta as saying in a statement.

"Instead of disturbing us, they should go to resolve the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and give us room to move our country forward," Kenyatta added, according to the statement.

Fresh cases of sleaze, including disclosures that one ministry spent public funds on buying sex toys and $85 ballpoint pens, have led to public and media calls for resignations and piled pressure on Kenyatta to tackle corruption.

During a visit to Kenya in July, U.S. President Barack Obama said corruption "may be the biggest impediment to Kenya growing faster."

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