US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter has announced his exit from Kenya back to the US.
McCarter was appointed by Donald Trump’s administration to become Kenya’s envoy in January 2019.
He had just served for one year. With US President-elect Joe Biden taking over the reins of power on Wednesday, January 20, it effectively ends his tenure in Kenya.
In a statement to Kenyans, he said that he loved it serving the American and Kenyan people.
“I am sad to announce that this privilege is coming to an end today when I will resign my post. And I am proud of what the two countries have achieved.”
“It has been my honor & pleasure to serve my country & the Kenyan people as balozi. Time to move on,” he stated.
He insisted that even with his departure, the US government will continue partnering with Kenya on many fronts including economic, governance and political spheres.
“The US will continue aid through education. The free trade negotiations will make Kenya more competitive,” he added.
Throughout his tenure as US envoy to Kenya, McCarter has been vocal on spiralling corruption in the country.
In July 2020, he threatened that the US would halt donor aid to Kenya due to systemic and continued plundering of resources.
McCarter said that Kenya’s state of corruption is alarmingly high indicating that an estimated Ksh800 billion is lost through graft every year.
He said that US donors had already dealt with disappointments of donating aid to Kenya which ended up in people’s pockets.
“Why keep hauling water up a hill if Ksh800 Billion is leaking from the mutungi (container) all the way there?
He sought to find out if the country’s youth are ready to put a stop to this should they get top leadership positions.
“Will youth get in office and continue tradition or have they had enough? This donor has had enough,” he posed.
Kenya gets an estimated Ksh171 billion in aid by the US according to McCarter, most of which is channelled towards the health sector.
A sizeable amount is also channelled towards agriculture, social and infrastructural development. Aid by the US also plays a huge role in crisis and conflict management and resolution.
During his one year tenure, he was a strong advocate of of “Stop These Thieves”, an online campaign pooling activists and like-minded people to stop those stealing public resources.