Oct 23, Colombo: The Kenyan government Tuesday categorically refuted a media report that said it is quietly lobbying the African countries in the Commonwealth to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka next month.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in a statement said Tuesday that the Ministry would like to categorically refute, in its entirety, the content of the article appeared in the local newspaper The Star on Monday October 21, 2013 titled "Kenya Lobbies Commonwealth Summit Boycott."
"The story, is to say the least, speculative, malicious and lacks any iota of nationalistic approach to news analysis. The alleged move would be outrightly contrary to our aspiration as a country and contradicts our engagement in multilateral relations, and in particular the Commonwealth," the Kenyan ministry statement said.
The Star article said the diplomatic sources has told the newspaper that Kenya was quietly lobbying the continent over the Commonwealth's failure to take a decisive stance against the prosecution of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Ministry confirmed that Kenya takes its membership to the Commonwealth very seriously and would not do anything that would jeopardize that relationship.
The Star report said already, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia have been roped into the plan and may miss out in the meeting and South Sudan and Burundi which had launched bids to join Commonwealth have suspended their bids indefinitely.
"Kenya is determined to force in a favorable and decisive action against the ICC trials against its president and deputy president. The Commonwealth miss would be part of this bigger agenda which the world must appreciate has been forced on Kenya by the court," The Star report further said citing government sources.
However the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade strongly rejecting the report said that. Indeed Kenya has already embarked on preparations for this Summit and no doubt will be represented at high levels of Government.
The Ministry charged the newspaper saying that in writing the story, the writer and the editors had no courtesy, whatsoever, to find out the Government’s position on the issue.
"This is highly regretted and clearly shows unprofessionalism and lack of patriotism on the part of the writer. We demand an apology from The Star newspaper and correction of this gross misrepresentation of facts," the Ministry stressed.