Top Kenyan official denied US visa

January 12, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Postmaster General Major General (rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali has been denied a visa to travel to the Los Angeles, the US embassy in Nairobi confirmed on Tuesday.

Ambassador Michael Ranneberger who verified the reports, however declined to discuss the matter when questioned by journalists at a press conference.

“He has not been issued with the visa,” he said adding that “his case is under review, it is just premature for me to talk about it now.”

The envoy also declined to disclose whether Maj Gen (rtd) Ali was among the 15 Kenyan personalities banned from travelling to the U.S due to their alleged hindrance to the reform agenda.

The country’s top postman was reportedly due to travel to America on official duty.

Attorney General Amos Wako has already confirmed receiving a letter from the US government barring him from the country. The AG is accused of being an impediment to reforms in the country but he has since denied the charge and indicated he would sue the US government over its stand.

Meanwhile, Mr Ranneberger has commended the government’s progress on reforms. He said there was positive development in the constitution review process, police reforms and improved working relations between the Prime Minister and the President.

But he expressed displeasure with key reforms – fighting corruption and punishing perpetrators of the post election violence – which he said were important but had been derailed.

He urged the government to prioritise processes that will give justice to victims of the 2007/2008 post election violence and at the same time prevent a recurrence of the violence in future election processes.

Kenya has been grappling with the formation of a local tribunal after two failed attempts in Parliament.

Mr Ranneberger said his government had sent a delegation of Kenya civil society and youth leaders to Washington DC to engage in high level meetings in Congress, the Department of State and the White House where they will discuss new ways of advancing the reform agenda.

“This delegation demonstrates the commitment of the US government to partner with Kenya to advance implementation of the reform agenda,” he said.

He emphasised the important role the civil society and the youth play, and urged the rest of Kenyans to apply more pressure to ensure key changes are implemented.

The ambassador also used the opportunity to announce a Sh15 million grant to the Kenya Red Cross to assist flood victims in Kenya.

Reports show that the floods have left 30 people dead and another 30,000 others displaced.


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