British officials also rejected the suggestion that the UK was using the ICC process to try and influence the outcome of Kenya’s next General Election.
The sensational claims sparked outrage in Parliament on Thursday, with some MPs calling for severing of diplomatic relations with the UK.
Motion to discuss the conduct of the UK would be filed with Speaker Kenneth Marende on Monday
To underline the gravity with which London views the matter, it said it was going against its say-nothing policy having seen copies of the documents in question, we would like to assure the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that these are not genuine.
Evidence of this includes both the misleading and implausible content and a plethora of spelling and grammatical mistakes,” read a statement posted on the British High Commission website.
However, the storm sparked by the leaked document, allegedly circulated by the British Foreign Office and which caused uproar in Parliament on Thursday before Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim halted debate, raged Friday.
It’s understood a substantive Motion to discuss the conduct of the UK would be filed with Speaker Kenneth Marende on Monday. Maalim cited standing orders requiring a three-day notice of a substantive Motion before discussions on the conduct of a friendly country or its representatives.
MPs Charles Kilonzo (Yatta) and Aden Duale (Dujis) who tabled the documents, allegedly circulated by the British Foreign Office, told The Standard On Saturday they were aware that the Motion would be submitted.
However, it was not immediately clear who would file the Motion because Kilonzo denied reports he would.
“I am aware the Motion would be filed on Monday, but I am not sure who will because I am out of town,” he said.
MPs are anticipating Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula would issue an “unsolicited” statement to the House in light of the British Government’s response. “We will challenge him with more documents,” said an MP who asked not to be named.
There is also the suggestion they could press for a joint probe by the House committees on Defence and Foreign Relations and Security to shed more light.
MPs allied to the G7 Alliance on Thursday rejected a Motion to extend sitting hours of the House to conclude House business. The import of the rejection was that it aborted a scheduled Motion to adjourn the House until April 10, which could have frozen the UK saga.
The dossiers were tabled as members questioned a statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula, arising from remarks by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague on the eligibility of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to contest the presidency while facing ICC trials.
The memos purportedly written by Chloe Hamborg, Foreign Office Horn of Africa team leader, allege that President Kibaki is under a secret probe by the International Criminal Court, and would be indicted on retirement.
The dossier also cast a picture of Britain advising ICC that arrest warrants against Uhuru and Ruto, who have already been committed to full trial, would diminish their chances “of… ascending to State House”.
Friday, the UK statement also alluded to claims that the British Government favoured Prime Minister Raila Odinga succeeding President Kibaki at State House.
“As the British Government has made clear in both public and private, the UK has no interest in any particular outcome in the General Election and is not backing any particular candidates or parties,” said the statement.
It added the UK supports credible elections whose outcome is accepted as the legitimate expression of the will of the people.
“We are concerned that this is a smear campaign which aims to destabilise our bilateral relations and to damage the political atmosphere ahead of the Kenyan elections.
“We trust that the Government of Kenya will resist these attempts to sour our relationship, and its negative impact on Kenya in this crucial year,” said the statement.
The British Government added: “We do not intend to comment further on the issue of documents, nor will we undertake a running public commentary on this unscrupulous agenda.”
Hamborg is purported to have forwarded to senior UK officials the memo, which suggest the UK is pressing for arrest warrants against Uhuru and Ruto over ICC cases.
Incidentally a leaked diplomatic cable in 2010 quoted Hamborg reporting European Union countries were hesitant to join the UK in banning the issuance of visas to certain Kenyan officials.
“Within the EU, the UK’s decision to ban the issuance of visas to certain Kenya officials raised eyebrows and has caused France and Germany to ask for more information about the UK’s analysis that led to the bans.
Italy and Germany remain very cautious about extending the ban to all EU countries,” the cable read.
Hamborg reported the UK intended to circulate a non-paper to EU and other partners to explain its visa policy “in the hopes of educating EU members about the political situation in Kenya and of garnering support to extend the ban across the EU.”
It was a briefing ahead of the visit by then Foreign Office Africa Minister Baroness Kinnock to prepare for President Kibaki’s subsequent visit to London, which also highlighted an unflattering assessment of the Kenyan President’s visit.
“While it remains unclear exactly why the UK Government decided to invite Kibaki to the UK, it may be an attempt to re-gain some political clout in Kenya after what many see as the lacklustre role the UK played in the aftermath of the electoral crisis,” Hamborg said.
The leaked memo tabled in Parliament on Thursday underscores the delicate diplomatic balancing act to wield a stick and carrot so as not to jeorpadise lobbying on other areas of cooperation such as piracy and migration.
Italy and Germany had been “very cautious” to extend the visa ban to all EU members and about strong statements about the domestic political situation in Kenya, Hamborg explained, because they wanted continued Kenyan support for the prosecution of pirates.
Source The Standard