Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has for the first time talked about why he was not part of the US-Kenya trade talks despite holding the key docket.
In July and September, the vocal CS was not part of the Kenyan team that was engaging with the US side on a free trade agreement that has been in discussion for years.
When asked by journalists in Nairobi why Kuria was not in the meeting, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai remarked that they should ask the government why he was not invited.
In an interview with Citizen TV news anchor Jeff Koinange, Kuria stated that his past remarks about the maandamano were the reason for him to be sidelined by the United States.
US Trade Representative (USTR) (left) with President William Ruto (right) at State House on September 13 2022.
Kuria noted that the US Embassy sent an advisory, stating their desire to distance themselves from him.
“There was a misunderstanding with Katherine Tai. She has been a great friend of mine, and very supportive. When she came into the country, we were in the middle of our politics and someone didn’t like what I stated about maandamano and the US embassy gave an advisory that they don’t want to deal with me,” he noted.
“I don’t know how on earth someone can come in between Raila and me.”
Since assuming office as Trade CS, Kuria travelled to over 40 foreign nations in trade talks, helping Kenya to secure deals to grow local manufacturing.
Kuria explained that he declined to be part of Ruto’s subsequent delegations to the US for the US-Africa roundtable trade talks.
“Well, I thought that the Americans had issues with Moses Kuria. Why should I come in between their engagements? I am not selfish so I decided to stay out. Why would I go to their country if they didn’t want me to be involved in talks in my own country? The Americans ought to have separated my views in politics and my docket,” noted Kuria.
The United States is among the largest global destination of Kenya’s goods, with the world’s largest economy purchasing goods worth Ksh42.89 billion in eight months in the year 2022.
Public Service CS Moses Kuria speaking during a health forum in Kericho County on October 18, 2023.