Details emerged Thursday evening that the National Intelligence Service sent 15 spies to the US to track former Kenya’s prime minister Raila Odinga’s every move while out of the country.
A source within the NIS revealed to The Star newspaper that the spies monitored Raila’s both private and public meetings, listening to his conversations using sophisticated listening devices.
“We are on top of virtually everything, movements … calls …SMSs,” an intelligence source confidently told the newspaper.
The details come as Raila jetted back into the country on Thursday.
Raila sent out a tweet on Wednesday saying he was excited to be traveling back to the country, adding that he was happy with what he had experienced in the US.
“I am happy with what I have seen here and I’m happy to come back home. We have a lot of friends in the USA,” Raila tweeted.
According to his adviser, the former Prime minister achieved what he had gone for in the US.
“I have been with Raila on visits to the US before but there has never been such an extraordinary level of interest in him.” Raila’s long-time adviser Salim Lone said as reported by The Star.
According to the report on the Star, an advance reconnaissance team was sent to Washington, DC, two days before Raila arrived. Three others accompanied Raila on his flight to the US, booking seats closest to the former prime minister.
“We had our people in place prior enough. That is how we do it, it’s our business,” the highly placed intelligence officer said.
The NIS agents were able to attend Raila’s open meetings and remained close enough to him as well as his key associates, monitoring every move.
The agents, who included four women according to high-level NIS sources, encountered some difficulties in physically accessing Raila’s private meetings, but were able to install listening devices in advance, successfully capturing conversations.
The NIS agents in Washington were reporting directly to their senior officers at the headquarters in Kenya, and in their sophisticated mission, the spies had instructions to advise on every minute detail, every movement, who Raila met, when, where and what was discussed.
While in the US, Raila met the Assistant Secretary of State Donald Yamamoto, Michael Phelan of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Greg Simpkin of the House Africa subcommittee who are all considered most knowledgeable about Africa and Kenya. He also met with other officials including President of the National Democratic Institute Ken Wallock, President of the International Republican Institute Dan Twining and Johnnie Carson, former Assistant Secretary of State for Africa.
According to Raila’s adviser Mr. Lone, the international community started looking at Kenya from a different angle following Raila’s visit to the US, calling it “extraordinary change of views about Kenya’s political situation” internationally.
President Uhuru’s government is vigilant on Raila’s moves, with concerns that he could pull a diplomatic coup.
The Supreme Court of Kenya will rule on Monday on whether to uphold Uhuru’s presidency after October 26th presidential rerun.