Ruto says not banned from US

March 19, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 19 – Agriculture Minister William Ruto said on Thursday that he was not the Cabinet Minister who had been barred from entering the United States.

The Eldoret North MP however welcomed the travel ban slapped on an unnamed government official, saying the US was exercising its sovereign right to bar those it didn’t want on their soil.

“I have not received any report or letter from anybody, the US like any other sovereign country has a right to deny anybody entry the same way Kenya has; in any case it will be absurd to be in a country that you are not welcome,” he added.

Mr Ruto also advocated for a new plan to counter corruption in the country saying the government needed to formulate practical mechanisms to fight graft.

“What the US and others will do, is what they think is fit and that’s for them, but as a country we must have a concrete plan on how to deal with corruption. It is urgent and necessary,” he stated.

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger on Tuesday announced that his government had blocked a prominent personality and members of his immediate family from travelling to America due to his involvement in mega scandals.

He 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."

"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," the Ambassador had said.

He however said he could not release the name of the Minister based on the US privacy regulations but added that the person in question would be notified regarding the ineligibility.

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


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