Cold War Between the Kenyan and German Government


Uhuru Kenyatta seems to be sending strong signals to the international community with a recent snub of the Germans who have also snubbed him back.

Uhuru has recently refused to accredit the new German ambassador to Kenya claiming to be unavailable. A move experts interpret to be a loud message from the government. “… delay in accreditation has traditionally been used as soft language of rejection or a way of expressing that the matter is not a priority,” said Macharia Munene, a professor of History and International Relations at the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi.

In September the outgoing German ambassador to Kenya, Margit Hellwig-Boette, on completing her tenure to Kenya was posted to Tanzania only for Jakaya Kikwete’s government to refuse to accredit her to the mission. Hellwig-Boette had to be sent back to Berlin for redeployment after her farewell dinner that was hosted by the former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.

The Kenyan Diaspora Business forum that was organised by the Kenyan Embassy in Berlin together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK); scheduled for next month in Berlin has been cancelled for “unavoidable circumstances”.

The Kenyan ambassador to Germany, Ken Osinde, was recalled to Nairobi (not for redeployment but “official duties”) a while back and hasn’t returned to Berlin since. It’s quite unusual for the ambassador to be away from the mission for so long.

Could it be that the German government has also put its foot down that the Kenyan government shouldn’t have an ambassador in Germany, if they can’t have an ambassador in Kenya? Could it be the Germans cancelled the business forum as their signal that they won’t play ball if Uhuru doesn’t badge?

No one from the Foreign Affairs ministry or the Embassy in Berlin has commented about these claims, with most officials maintaining that it’s “business as usual” and there’s nothing to worry about.

Other diplomats awaiting accreditation from the government are those from Japan, Zambia and France. Some argue that the others are simply a smoke screen incase issues go south, so that the President (or his workers) can simply retort, “Even our other good partners like Zambia and Japan have had to wait, it’s nothing personal just a tight calendar”.

UPDATE: The Kenyan Embassy in Berlin issued a statement on the state of affairs, read: There’s NO war between the Kenyan and German government.

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