US affirms visa ban on individuals linked to graft


US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert F. Godec. PHOTO/File
US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert F. Godec. PHOTO/File

 The US government has vowed to continue denying visas to individuals engaging or benefiting from corruption in Kenya, which he indicates has serious adverse effects on US interests.

In a statement to newsrooms, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said the move is in line with the US Presidential Proclamation 7750 of January 12th, 2004.

Godec emphasized that Washington would continue to use the full range of tools available to it in the effort to help Kenya combat corruption.

The ambassador further clarified that despite recent reports, they have not released the names of any Kenyans who may be subject to the Presidential Proclamation and cannot respond to speculation about any individual.

“Under US immigration law, information regarding individual visa applications and decisions is confidential and cannot be released,” Godec said.

Earlier this month, the United States Government announced the visa ban in a joint statement released by 11 ambassadors accredited to Kenya who announced their countries would impose travel visa restrictions on Kenyans linked to corruption, and possibly freeze stolen money banked in these countries.

US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said his government would use whatever mechanisms it deemed appropriate to address specific instances of corruption in Kenya.

Godec was reacting to criticism by a section of Kenyan leaders who see the move as interference in Kenya’s internal affairs and argue that the very countries now clamouring to help Kenya combat corruption have allowed stolen money to be banked in their banks.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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