OPINION: An open letter to Ambassador Amina Mohammed

Amina-MohamedBY JACKTONE AMBUKA

Dearest Ambassador Amina Mohamed

Receive my warm greetings from The United States of America.

I pray this letter finds you in good health of mind and body. From being one of the most powerful personalities at the United Nations (UN) to becoming the first woman in Kenyan history to occupy one of the most prestigious offices of the cabinet secretary for foreign affairs, you continue to travel an expeditious journey of the knowns and unknowns.

I have noticed in recent times that your role in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government has grown exponentially in leaps and bounds. Your presence affirms and commands. You have become an epicenter upon which most, if not all domestic and foreign policies of the Jubilee government are mooted.

By design or coincidence, you have strategically positioned yourself as the face of the Jubilee government and the voice of Mr. Kenyatta’s administration. The Standard newspaper described you in a headline as one of the most powerful voices behind the government’s “new ICC stand.” I describe you as one of the most intriguing figures to watch in this generation. You have the capacity to change Kenyan history for good or for worse.

Kenyans and the world may hold different opinion in as far as your diplomatic approach and your articulation of local and international issues is concerned. But I bet they can all agree in affirmative that you’re smooth, smart, articulate and confident. Your global view and international diplomatic experience is excellent.

Your strong communication skills reveal your intelligence and suaveness. You’re plucky and gutsy. However, at times; you appear too cocky. You wiggle through the ups and downs of Uhuru government by giving answers to every question. Perhaps you exude too much confidence and ooze too much intelligence.

In some cases, your answers aren’t factual. But you answer anyway. You’re a kind of girl who takes a bull by its horns. I submit to you that’s a dangerous approach.

Your ultimate strength shouldn’t necessarily lie in how much you know. Rather, the strength of your character should lie in your honesty and desire to want to know what you don’t know.

Yet, from mooting policies, travelling internationally, defending the government and defining domestic political discourses; it seems to me your tenure in the jubilee government is sucking every ounce of energy from you. I could be wrong. But your body language reveals a pained diplomat who has to do whatever it takes to cast a government in positive light even when at times it is in a bad light.

In your recent opinion piece that was published by The Guardian newspaper, you vehemently delinked corruption from insecurity. Yet, every credible study reveals corruption is inextricably linked not only to Westgate Terror massacre but to most incidents of insecurity in the country.

Transparency international (TI) ranked Kenya as fourth most corrupt state in the world. Study done by Ibrahim Index of African Governance (AIAG) flipped your conviction on corruption upside down. It ranked Kenya’s security among the worst in Africa due to porous borders, thanks to corruption.

Sometime you defend the indefensible. You go an extra mile to project Jubilee government as perfect. To you, it seems; Uhuru administration is a seamless blend of sinless personalities. But when one’s words goes against one’s conscience, the body gets disoriented and communicates opposite message.

Your appearance on BBC’s Hard Talk and CNN-London, lends credence. Asked if Uhuru Kenyatta should face charges at ICC, you dissented by reiterating that Uhuru and Ruto shouldn’t be at ICC because they’re not guilty.

You’re neither a judge nor a prosecutor to adduce evidence, vindicate or sentence Uhuru and Ruto. Right there you missed a diplomatic answer. You emerged as a sycophant rather than a smart diplomat I know.

Asked if there was abdication of duties by NIS, CID, Police and security apparatus in general that precipitated West Gate Terror Massacre, you emphatically denied.

Yet reports about abdication of duties persist. The media and senator Mike Sonko have asserted that our security apparatus knew about impending attacks that were planned against West Gate Mall, The Parliament and The KICC. But they did absolutely nothing to foil the terror plot.

A balanced diplomat of your caliber shouldn’t dismiss everything at face value. As you defend the government, don’t lose your credibility. Play a double pronged diplomacy. Uphold the dignity of the government but also acknowledge the gravity of situations. Denial of facts is denial of truth. Truth like facts may be denied but it always comes back to haunt.

But let’s face it. You’re serving the government under extra-ordinary times. A government whose President and deputy are indicted for crimes against humanity, unemployment rate is in the roof, insecurity has become a threat to economic opportunities, corruption has eaten the past and is busy eating the future and international image continues to suffer; isn’t an easy government to serve. It is challenging even to the most intelligent diplomats.

By and large, you’re still one of the finest daughters of Kenya and Africa. But be cautious lest you are used and dumped, just ask Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka. Protect your gravitas. Jealously guard your reputation. It took you decades to build. Put the interests of your motherland before egocentric ambitions of personalities.

Good luck in your responsibilities.

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