CS Echesa denies involvement in trafficking of 8 Pakistani girls


CS Echesa denies involvement in trafficking of 8 Pakistani girls
Sports CS Rashid Echesa during a past public appearance. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • The article, published on Saturday (with a follow-up on Sunday), accused the CS of giving special permits to 8 Pakistani girls to perform as dancers in a Nairobi club.
  • Echesa, in a statement on Sunday, termed the article as “offensive and potentially defamatory” and accused the authors of being “scribes on hire working in cahoots with the ‘bring Echesa down’ brigade.”
  • Echesa further faulted the immigration department saying it is their prerogative to consider any such applications on their own merit after conducting due diligence and if they meet legal requirements.

Sports, Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has denied claims of involvement in an alleged human trafficking ring as reported by a local newspaper.

The article, published on Saturday (with a follow-up on Sunday), accused the CS of giving special permits to eight Pakistani girls to perform as dancers in a Nairobi club.

Echesa, in a statement on Sunday, termed the article as “offensive and potentially defamatory” and accused the authors of being “scribes on hire working in cahoots with the ‘bring Echesa down’ brigade.”

“The only role played by the Ministry of Sports and Heritage was to support the Pakistani Nationals application for special passes to participate in an Indian cultural festival via issuance of a ‘Letter of No Objection’ to the Director of Immigration Services as part of the Ministry’s mandate in promoting cultural integration,” reads the statement issued by Director of Administration at the Sports, Culture and Heritage ministry, Charles Wambia.

“The issuance of the ‘Letter of No Objection’ was in part informed by a long standing bilateral agreement for cultural exchange between the Republic of Kenya and the Government of Pakistan for cooperation and exchange in the areas of art, culture and music.”

Echesa further faulted the immigration department saying it is their prerogative to consider any such applications on their own merit after conducting due diligence and if they meet legal requirements.

“The Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage in the Republic of Kenya is not responsible for issuance of Visas to foreign nationals entering the country for whatsoever reasons neither does it issue them with work permits or engage in assessing the reasons for entry or activities undertaken whilst in the country whether compliant or otherwise,” adds the statement.

He also accuses the authors of the article of flouting journalistic ethics by not seeking clarification or according him the right to give his side of the story before publication.

The CS, in the statement, demanded an immediate apology from the publication as well as a retraction of his alleged association in the story failure to which he will seek legal redress and compensation.

The eight Pakistani girls have since reportedly been deported.

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