Kenya Asked To Exit British Commonwealth Over Sovereignty Concerns

Fredrick Ngugi July 21, 2016
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron (l) with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (r). Photo (Telegraph)

The Pan-African Movement Kenyan Chapter accuses Britain, the Commonwealth parent state, of denying Kenya trade opportunities due to terms that are allegedly meant to benefit British corporations and multinational entities, according to Africa Review.

“Commonwealth is the expression of the will of a superior directed to the inferior, a kind of a master and a dog relationship, dictating local business, economic decisions, and government,” the group claims.

With the existing economic and geopolitical differences between the two countries, the group says Kenya stands to lose everything while her former colonial master stands to gain everything in regards to wealth distribution.

“There is no free movement of capital, movement of people, and labor from Kenya to Britain. Britain has been creating barriers for Kenyans wishing to enter Britain by imposing visa bans, [and] expensive and restrictive visa applications,” the group argues.

The lobby movement has reportedly written to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta requesting that he initiates the withdrawal process, which can be done through a referendum or through the judiciary, executive, or parliament.

Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of independent and sovereign nations, most of which are former British colonies. It was officially established in 1931, after the Statute of Westminster approved the sovereignty of dominions.

Currently, the association is made up of 53 member states and all are regarded as equals despite their diverse social, political, and economic backgrounds.

According to the Singapore Declaration of 1971, no government in the Commonwealth can exercise powers over others. Instead, all members are required to cooperate within a framework of common values and objectives.

The Commonwealth of Nations was founded on the basis of promoting democracy, human rights, rule of law, good governance, free trade, global peace, egalitarianism, multilateralism, and individual liberty.

Kenya became a member of the Commonwealth in 1963, after gaining independence from Britain. Rwanda, the newest member, joined in November 2009.

Several African member states have withdrawn from the Commonwealth of Nations, including Zimbabwe, Gambia, and South Africa, but South Africa has since been reinstated into the association.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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