General News of Saturday, 12 August 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Mac Manu deportation: Kenya sacrificed relationship with Ghana - Ayariga

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central is convinced Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission deported Peter Mac Manu based on very sound reasons.

Mahama Ayariga says it is logical to conclude that Kenyans feared the 2016 Campaign Manager for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) might be involved in something untoward in their election which informed why they took the bold decision to deport him.

“I think that unless they have very strong suspicion that he was going to meddle in the way that they didn’t want him to, they would not risk their relationship with Ghana treating him the way they did," Mr Ayariga said.

He told Samson Lardi Anyenini on Joy News/MultiTV’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday that Mr Mac Manu’s silence also does not help his cause as it only fuels more speculations.

Mr Manu, who was leading a team of Democratic Union of Africa International Observers to witness Kenya’s general elections, was deported last week Friday.

The security officials of the east African country also deported one other unnamed Ghanaian few days to the tightly fought polls won by Uhuru Kenyatta.

Nairobi-based Capital FM reported that the US Embassy also confirmed that two foreign nationals working for the opposition have been deported from Kenya.

Mr. Mac Manu’s has been touted as one of the best brains when it comes to election results tabulation and this was evident during Ghana’s last election in which he declared results in favour President Nana Akufo-Addo before the Electoral Commission did same.

The government reacted to the deportation saying it has no interest in whoever emerges as the winner in the Kenyan election.

A statement by the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid on Tuesday said the decision over which candidate is fit to lead the east African country is a reserve of Kenyans.

“We wish to make it clear that Government of Ghana has no interest whatsoever in who emerges the winner in Tuesday’s poll,” the statement read.

But the former Environment Minister Mahama Ayariga said, “it is difficult to appreciate that they in government do not have any interest one way or another.

“We all have our preferences so there is nothing wrong with the Information Minister saying they are ideologically aligned with the opposition in Kenya,” he added.

According to him, there is nothing wrong with Mr Manu trying to get into Kenya to help the opposition if they indeed needed his help, “to the extent that he was not going as an agent of the Ghana government”.

Mr Ayariga argues that “if he [Mr Manu] was part of an international observer mission and Kenya is acting within the comity of nations and the country is in anyway involved in that organization, I find it very difficult that they will remove him the way they did."

He said the Kenyan authorities were concerned because knowing his stature in Ghana, they would have been mindful of the way they treated him because they know he was the Campaign Manager for the governing party.

“Knowing his party formed the current government in Ghana, going forward in their relationship with Ghana, whatever they do in relation to Mac Manu would have implication on their relationship with Ghana," he explained.

However, Deputy Attorney General Joseph Dindiock Kpempa said the Kenyan authorities' fears were "unreasonable since Mr Manu could not beat their security system and manipulate elections as was reported."

He said things would have been different if the opposition had made claims that Mr Kenyatta had brought in his allies to help him win the election including Ghana's former President John Dramani Mahama.

The Tempane MP believes what happened was regrettable and the situation could have been better handled.