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Four Kenyan senior government officials, businessman face US travel ban

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By GLV Correspondent.

Nairobi– At least four top government officials and a prominent businessman will not set their foot on US soil due to suspected drug trafficking.

US ambassador Michael Ranneberger said that the US Government had made the decision based on “reliable and corroborative” reports that the five were involved in drug trafficking.

“Today I am announcing that, based on reliable and corroborative reports, we have taken steps to ensure that that four senior government officials and one prominent businessman will be permanently prevented from entering the US for business or tourism,” Mr Ranneberger said in his address to members of the Rotary Club, Coast chapter in Mombasa Tuesday.

However, Ranneberger, did not disclose the identities of the four government officials and businessman. According to Ranneberger, the US had intensified its efforts against narcotics trafficking in and through Kenya, including revoking US visas held by suspected drug traffickers.

“If that person already has a visa, we will revoke it,” he warned, adding that, those suspected to aid drug traffickers will also suffer a similar fate. Ranneberger stated that the US government was coordinating with Kenyan and probably with INTERPOL authorities to crack down on narcotics trafficking and to help communities deal with its consequences.

Drug money has contributed a lot to political campaigns or even buy their way to leadership positions. The drug traffickers were also using their ill gotten money to buy influence from politicians and the media, according to the envoy.

“Officials must be forced to turn over any funds given to their campaigns, even after the fact, if those individuals are found to be traffickers,” he said. He referred to chapter 76 of the new Constitution which requires public officials to declare any personal interests that may conflict with public duties.

“Specifically, a state officer cannot even maintain a bank account outside Kenya except in accordance with an act of Parliament,” he noted. The US embassy is in the process of drafting a “hard-hitting” report on the narcotics situation in Kenya to be included in the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report that the Department of State will release to Congress early next year.

Islamic leaders will also be the focus of US embassy in Kenya for talks on prevention of drug trafficking.

US ambassador to Kenya announcing the Ban. net photo

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