Europe, US slap visa ban on Kenyan graft suspects

State and public officers in Kenya who have either been questioned or aersely mentioned over corruption risk being barred from travelling to Europe and America as western diplomats moved to raise pressure in the war against graft.

Eleven diplomats stationed in Nairobi – who held a meeting with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Thursday – said they would impose travel restrictions on officials linked to corruption, saying graft was undermining the country’s future.

“We are prepared to take further steps to support the Kenyan authorities including, when permitted by law, the return of stolen assets to the Kenyan people or to impose travel restriction on those responsible for graft,” the envoys said in a joint statement they issued after a meeting at Integrity Centre, Nairobi.

The joint statement was read to the press by the US Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Robert Godec, who led the team to the EACC offices.

The meeting between the envoys and EACC officials came just two days after the country’s Devolution and Planning minister, Ms Anne Waiguru, was questioned over loss of hundreds of millions from the National Youth Service.

After the questioning, her lawyer, Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, said the CS would at best be a witness in the case but EACC officials said investigations were still on.

Apart from the US, other countries represented in the meeting are the United Kingdom, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

Under the Grand Coalition administration, the western envoys imposed restrictions on top Kenya officials implicated in corruption by denying them visas.

Several Cabinet secretaries in the Jubilee administration have been asked to step aside to pave way for investigations into corruption allegations in their ministries.

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