Kenya discusses US envoy’s future

2010-12-13 11:15

Nairobi - Kenya is holding a cabinet meeting Monday to discuss the future of United States Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, a government spokesperson said.

Ranneberger has long been an outspoken critic of the government and in recent times has further enraged Kenya's leaders as he pursues a policy of youth empowerment.

Cables released by WikiLeaks also revealed Ranneberger believes corruption is "rampant" in Kenya and that President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are part of the problem.

Local media, citing government sources, have claimed a request to have him recalled is imminent.

"There is a cabinet meeting today to discuss him," government spokesperson Alfred Mutua told the German Press Agency dpa. "The concern with Ranneberger has nothing to do with WikiLeaks, it is the activities he has been carrying out, it is the youth meetings."

Ranneberger has been crossing the country as the US throws millions of dollars into its plans to empower Kenya's youth.

Mutua said youth attending those meetings told the government Ranneberger was inciting them to revolution, asking them to "remove the old guard" and "take to the streets."

The cabinet is expected to reach a decision on Ranneberger's future at the meeting, Mutua said.

Both Odinga and Kibaki, whose coalition government was formed in the wake of December 2007's deadly post-election violence, blasted Ranneberger on Sunday during Jamhuri Day - the annual holiday celebrating Kenya's establishment as a republic one year after independence from Britain in 1964.

Although neither man named Ranneberger directly, their angry attacks were clearly directed at the US envoy.

Odinga referred to somebody going around acting as if he were "governor", while Kibaki said Kenya would not be intimidated by people who give their money in an attempt to "corrupt our youth and destabilise our country".