US denies reports of revoking visas for Kenyan officials

Kyle McCarter
US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter. [Photo: courtesy]

US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter has said that the American government does not intend to revoke the travel visa of some Kenyan officials and elected leaders.

Speaking in Kirinyaga County on Tuesday, McCarter said that a statement issued by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday last week did not in any way target Kenyan leaders.

This follows two deaths in Kenol, Murang’a County which resulted from chaos that broke out during a political event that Deputy President was presiding over in the area.

“As far as am concerned there is no such a move by the USA these are rumours, I don’t know such information and personally I have no powers to do so,” McCarter quipped.

In the statement,  Pompeo underscored that Africans have an exclusive right to assemble and express themselves with no violence instigated by elected leaders.

He noted that any move by a leader to instigate violence erodes the democracy of the country which the US will not allow.

He added that the US is closely monitoring leaders who infringe on the rights of expression, freedom of expression and association. Pompeo said the US will take stern measures against them including denying them visas.

“We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those responsible for election-related violence. 

McCarter, however, added that the US is keen on ensuring that the Kenyan youth are not used to advance politicians’ agenda which includes violence.

The US Ambassador to Kenya remained non-committal on new rules spelt out by the Head of Public Service as stated by the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC).

The new rules bar any politician from holding a political event without authorization by the area police boss.