Envoy denies claims US to revoke visas for top officials over assembly rights curtailment

By Githinji Mwangi On Tue, 13 Oct, 2020 16:43 | < 1 min read
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru (in white coat) with US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. PHOTO | COURTESY

American Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter has denied claims that his country plans to revoke Visa for top government officials for curtailing freedom of speech, assembly, and association in the country.

The ambassador, who addressed the press at the Kirinyaga County headquarters in Kutus town said that he’s not aware of such information, terming the claim as false and untrue.

Accompanied by Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Kyle said that as far he’s concerned there is no such move by the US.

Without getting into detail, the American envoy urged Kenyans to ignore such rumours.

There have been claims on social media to the effect that the American government threatened to effect a raft of sanctions on top government officials.

It was claimed that US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in a press statement on Thursday noted it was monitoring with concern the shrinking political space in some African countries, noting that repression and intimidation have no place in democracies.

The statement came in the wake of government move to ban public rallies, an act perceived as targeting Deputy President William Ruto.

However, Kenya’s neighbour, Tanzania is also in an election mood and there have been reports of intimidation of opposition politicians.

Pompeo said that the US will not hesitate to consider consequences including visa restrictions among other sanctions.

During the Kirinyaga visit, Kyle held talks with Governor Waiguru focusing on how the US government and the devolved unit can cooperate on BT cotton farming.

He said that the US government will continue working with the Kenyan government, especially on improving and increasing cotton production.

On security, the ambassador said the American government needs partners to defeat the Al-Shabaab terror group.

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