Continuing with my Jan. 2-3, 2008 e-mails reporting back to Joel Barkan in Washington from Nairobi:
When I reported the call [to me from Ranneberger] to Washington, Lorne eventually and reluctantly made the decision to scratch Bellamy (he was not told the truth to my chagrin). Lorne then called Asst. Sec. Frazer on his way to the airport to tell her to get her Ambassador in line, then when he landed in Thailand he called the Ambassador to tell him to stop interfering in our EO.
After the Ambassador first raised his objection to Bellamy a few days earlier we had research Bellamy’s record and found no problems and checked out the political perception in Kenya and also found no problems. Likewise, we had confirmed with the State Dept in Washington and confirmed that they had no issues with Bellamy being a delegate. Likewise, we had confirmed that USAID was not objecting (and that they acknowledged they had no right to).
In the meantime, I had gotten a call from the Embassy that next Friday afternoon to come to Ambassador’s residence to see him on Saturday afternoon. When I visit him, he in a fashion apologized for getting spun up with me, but reiterated that it was vital to the credibility of our whole delegation that Bellamy be struck because he was absolutely “perceived as anti-govenment”. Whether he intended to or not, he left me with the distinct impression that the “perception” had been conveyed straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak (one of the provisions in our international agreement covering EOM standards prohibits allowing a government or other party any ability to veto members of our delegations).
Further, the Ambassador told me that “people” were saying that Raila might lose Langata. He said that he would be personally observing the voting in Langata and wanted to take Connie with him for part of the day. He also said that he wanted to take Connie privately to meet with Stanley Murage before the election.
When I reported this to DC, needless to say alarm bells went off. We nixed letting Connie go off observing separately with the Ambassador and insisted that Connie would not be available for any off-schedule private meetings. Serious consideration was given to cancelling the EO and I think it would have been cancelled if I didn’t say that I thought that I could manage the situation here.
When I told Sheryl about the Murage gambit she audibly gasped on the other end of the phone but didn’t comment. She