Envoys threaten to issue travel bans against hate mongers

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

Western envoys have warned that their respective governments will impose travel bans on politicians who incite Kenyans to violence, saying that the deteriorating political climate is affecting electoral agency’s preparations for October 26 poll.

Speaking after meeting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) top officials at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, U.S Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said that the repeat presidential poll must be conducted within the confines of the Constitution, saying that both political camps must respect the independence of institutions.

“We are watching what is happening and when appropriate we will take steps under US law to hold people accountable. There are many measures that we could take but travel bans is a possibility,” Ambassador Godec said.

Election amendments

The envoys also questioned the timing of Jubilee’s move to amend the Elections Act, arguing that it is against international standards to do so during the election period.

“The draft election laws amendment Bill puts IEBC’s ability to conduct a better election at risk within the mandated 60 days timeline and it unnecessarily increases political tension. The timing is a serious problem. The process requires broad agreement by all parties,” Godec said.

The diplomats urged the two political camps to consider dialogue as a means to ending the election impasse that has threatened to cripple IEBC’s preparations for the repeat poll.

“We believe it is time for both parties to exercise leadership and democracy. IEBC is the only body mandated by the Constitution to conduct elections,” Godec said.

He further advised that demonstrations should only be held when appropriate.

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Story By Wahome Gitonga
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