US ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter has dispelled claims that the American government is planning to impose travel sanctions on Kenyan political leaders.
Speaking during a tour to Kirinyaga County on Tuesday, Amb. McCarter clarified that a statement issued by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week did not target Kenya.
“As far as am concerned there is no such a move by the USA these are rumors, I don’t know such information and personally I have no powers to do so,” McCarter said.
Pompeo in the statement warned African leaders against suppressing democracy and instigating violence in their countries. He noted that the US is watching closely and will not hesitate to impose sanctions on leaders interfering with elections.
“Repression and intimidation have no place in democracies. The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and association are at the heart of a functioning democracy,” Pompeo said without mentioning a specific African country.
He added: “Adherence to these democratic norms and to the rule of law allows all citizens to engage in political dialogue and support their choice of candidates, parties, and platforms.”
“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.”
Pompeo’s warning came amid rising political tensions in the country. About a week ago, two people were killed in Kenol town, Murang’a county after two political rival groups clashed ahead of Deputy President William Ruto’s visit to the area.