27 Oct


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson held a flurry of meetings Monday with senior Kenyan officials and then announced a travel ban had been issued against one unnamed prominent official for impeding key government reforms. Three others are under threat to have their visas similarly revoked.

A month ago Carson sent letters to 15 Kenyan officials threatening action if they did not begin instituting the government reforms. The American ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, had announced that some of those issued the letters would soon be barred from traveling into the United States.
The assistant secretary said that the U.S. would continue pushing for progress on reforms adding that President Obama’s position is clear and will steadily increase pressure for implementation and will not do business as usual with those who do not support reform or who support violence. US at the same time will recognize and support implementation of reforms when they are undertaken.

The so-called reform agenda was a core component of the negotiations reached between now-President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga after the incumbent, Mr. Kibaki, was controversially declared the winner of the disputed December 2007 elections. Carson commended recent progress made on the police reforms and anti-corruption fronts, praising the sacking of police head Hussein Ali and expressing satisfaction with parliament’s role in forcing out re-appointed anti-corruption chief Aaron Ringera.

But the assistant secretary said that the United States was not happy with the pace of reforms in prosecuting the organizers of political violence, overhauling the judiciary, strengthening the rule of law, and creating a new constitution. He blamed slow paperwork for the reason that only one individual has been issued with the ban, saying that the visa revocation process was moving forward on the other targeted persons. He said that the identity of the affected individual will likely be revealed in a short period of time.

Carson described Kenya as the United States’ “strongest partner and friend in East Africa.” This is the senior diplomat’s third visit to Nairobi since taking the position in May this year.

WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS STORY? Remember you can also leave your story here – ever been asked for a bribe, asked for bribe or you have a unique story on corruption?

1 Comment

Posted by on October 27, 2009 in Uncategorized



  1. kahenya

    October 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I am a Kenya freelancing journalist and am happy to report the following as to what the mood of Kenyans is like. The ban was really timely as we can also be grateful for the rains too. But before I can explain what the mood is like I want to point out that almost all careers involve some sort of bribery. Being a member of the 4TH Estate, I unveil so many stories mostly involving high profile people in Kenya today most are businessmen and some government officials. They offer me a lot of money from KSH 100,000 for me not to write about them. I am sorry but I cannot reveal details, my point is no money is enough for all our needs.
    Kenyans have overwhelmingly welcomed United States travel ban on an unnamed key government official for impeding much needed reforms. The United States under Secretary for African Affairs Jonnie Carson announced the ban after holding a series of meetings with Kenyan government officials Monday.
    President Barack Obama’s administration recently sent stern letters to some government officials threatening action if they failed to support reforms. Kenyans also urged Washington to take the sanction a step further by freezing the assets and bank accounts of the officials.
    Kenyans also want the international community to follow in Washington’s step by weeding out impunity. We hope that the global community will stand like the Americans in solidarity with the Kenyan people, a long suffering people to assist and work with the Kenyan people to remove the scourge of impunity corruption that has infected our country since independence actually.
    Washington’s decision is emboldening the Kenyan people to push for reforms, especially for sanctions against the corrupt leadership in this country.
    Kenyans are also happy Louis Moreno Ocampo; chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court will soon begin investigations to the 2007 post-election violence. As we all know, Ocampo is coming to the country next week. So, there is a correlation in the mind of Kenyans that the international community is finally rising to the occasion to respond once and for all to the culture of impunity in Kenya.
    We ceded the concept of state sovereignty when we accepted the principle of indivisibility and universality of the human rights…on this question of sovereignty and the poor leadership that we have at the moment, I beg to part ways with the (government) on that score.
    Washington has also promised to soon extend the ban to three more government officials whose visas are currently being considered.


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