Calls for an end to British aid money being spent on Kenyan elections

Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.
Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.

The Department for International Development (DFID) have admitted there has been “no significant improvement in the fight against corruption” over recent years in Kenya, despite British taxpayer support through a £28.5 million programme known as Deepening Democracy.

An additional £2.5 million of British money is being pumped into the project which is run in conjunction with 24 other countries.

Speaking to British newspaper, Mail of Sunday, respected University of Nairobi political analyst Professor Barrack Muluka, called for Britain to ‘stop its grotesque waste of public money that is being thrown into a bottomless pit’.

“What possible good can come of a country like Britain using its people’s money to add to the chaos already going on here?

“You cannot rationalise that spending to your taxpayers. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to contribute to the use of good money in the futile mission this election is turning out to be.

“We have politicians flying around the country in helicopters and motorcades, holding rallies where they don’t address any issues of importance but use pure invective to stir up public sentiment. They are anyway preaching to the converted, going to their own heartlands to rabble-rouse in their predictable ways, whipping up hostility.”

– Professor Barrack Muluka

Accusations of vote-rigging triggered vicious tribal clashes followed the 2007 election and UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey has warned that ‘mishandling the voting process’ Could reignite the violence of 10 years ago when police used tear gas and live bullets to disperse rioters.

The Kenyan government has faced criticism from leaders of impoverished communities for spending a huge £766.5 million of public money on this year’s poll. Each of the ruling alliance’s 416 MPs has been given £80,000 towards campaigning costs Which has been used to hire helicopters and four-wheel-drive vehicles to transport them to far-flung constituencies.

Total UK foreign aid to Kenya adds up to more than £131 million as part of Britain’s commitment to spending at least 0.7 per cent of GDP on overseas aid.

A UK Government spokesman said: ‘We support free, fair and peaceful elections in Kenya to help to maintain security and stability, which is in all our interests. The election support referred to was allocated in 2015 and is overseen by the Foreign Office in Kenya.’