Kenyan Cabinet Minister faces US travel ban

March 17, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – The United States government announced on Tuesday it had barred a prominent personality and members of his immediate family from travelling to America due to his involvement in mega scandals.

US ambassador Michael Ranneberger said the individual’s travel visa had been banned, placing him on the infamous list of those permanently ineligible to enter the US ‘due to engagement in official corruption."

Even though the ambassador did not name the person, Capital News independently established it was a Cabinet Minister in the Kibaki administration.

""The United States has previously invoked this proclamation on multiple occasions to bar the issuance of visas to Kenyan nationals. We have again invoked this authority and have added another person to the list," he told reporters at his Nairobi residence.

Refusal to name the individual concerned was based on US privacy regulations.

"Due to US regulations regarding protection of privacy, we will not name the person. The person will soon be notified regarding the ineligibility," he added.

He said the proclamation can be used to extend ineligibility to the spouses and children of the barred individual.

In an elaborate statement touching on the growing culture of impunity in Kenya, Mr Ranneberger warned that more influential individuals would be banned from travelling to the US.

He said an unnamed number of personalities were under investigation for involvement in – or being beneficiaries of – corruption.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation in Kenya, including collecting information on acts of corruption engaged in by public officials. A number of cases are under review," he said.

And warned: "We will continue to apply our authority to suspend and deny visas as warranted."

He said the latest action was a clear demonstration of the commitment of the US Government to stand by the side of the Kenyan people to end the culture of impunity.

"Those engaged in corruption must be held accountable. We note, in that regard, that applying the proclamation is only one tool at our disposal," he said.

Under the provisions of US Presidential Proclamation 7750, the United States Government reserves the right to suspend the entry into the United States of any non-American person "engaged in or benefiting from public official corruption."

The US has invoked this proclamation on several Kenyan personalities both in the government and the private sector on six previous occasions.


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