Keep off Kenyan affairs, Karua tells Britain
Published on December 10, 2007, 12:00 am
By Munene Kamau
Justice minister Martha Karua has told the British House of Lords to keep off Kenya’s internal affairs.
She told the Lords to concentrate on what she described as the UK’s own “grand corruption scandals and other rot”.
Karua said the British government should treat Kenya as a sovereign state capable of managing its own affairs.
“They are our friends but we want to remind them we are not their colony nor do we depend on them for survival,” Karua said.
She said it was ironical that the House of Lords could take time to debate Kenya while ignoring those that relate to Britain.
Addressing a rally at Ithareini market in Gichugu constituency on Sunday, the minister told the British to debate the corruption scandals in their own country relating to arms deals in various countries.
The minister was reacting to last week’s criticism of the Government by Britain’s House of Lords on how it was handling corruption.
The House spent one hour last week to debate Kenyan issues, including the infamous Anglo Leasing and the Goldenberg scandals.
But in a scathing response, Karua said the House of Lords “has better things to debate, including corruption within their Government and other rots” instead of discussing Kenyan affairs.
The former Gichugu legislator said the fight against corruption in Kenya could not be judged on the number of cases in court or the number of people in jail for corruption related offences.
“You must look at issues holistically before passing judgment on the performance of our government in its war against corruption,” the minister said.
She said President Kibaki’s opponents busy criticising the Government over corruption were themselves suspects of the same vice.
“Just have a look at the front line up of our key competitors and what you see is a parade of suspects with court cases or those with investigations going on. What moral authority do they have to point fingers at others or lecture Kenyans on anti-corruption and good governance?” she asked.
She said President Kibaki, unlike his opponents, had no corruption link and was thus the only candidate capable of eradicating corruption.
Karua asked Kenyans to judge Kibaki by his development record.