US to blacklist 100 Kenyans linked to graft
The US Embassy in Nairobi has identified more than corrupt public figures it intends to block from entering the United States.
The list of 100 was drawn up by former Ambassador Robert Godec, but was not forwarded to Washington.
His successor, Ambassador Kyle McCarter, has revived the list and is sending the names and justification for blacklisting to Washington for approval.
And he is adding more names.
Washington will then advise on who is to be sanctioned and what kind of sanctions will be imposed.
US blacklist Kenyans linked to graft
“The ambassador wants more evidence touching on those mentioned so far. And he is also hoping there will be more high profile names once Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji approves charges in the Arror and Kimwarer dams investigations,” an embassy official told the Star.
Those on the list include national government officials, county officials and former and current parastatal chiefs.
US Embassy Spokesperson Emily Fertik told the Star Visa records are confidential under US law and the same has not been shared out by any government agency in Kenya including the immigration.
“All foreigners who wish to enter the United States are subject to U.S. immigration laws which include ineligibilities for those proven to be involved in significant corruption,”Fertik said
The Star has established that the list was arrived at after independent investigations into graft allegations and more evidence was assembled from documents presented in court.
While some of those on the list have already been charged, others are still under investigation.
A Cabinet minister on the list had been mentioned in a number of scams but no hard evidence of corruption has been found.
“We all know he is corrupt but getting evidence that links him directly has been difficult,” said an EACC official who helped the Americans compile the list.
The county officials include governors and officers of their administration said to have stolen millions of shillings.
The list also features MPs and senators who have been implicated in corruption scandals.
Some former IEBC officials are also on the list and some former officials of the National Land Commission also feature prominently.
McCarter has hit the ground running since he took over. Apart from talking tough on corruption, he has also been meeting government officials and offering his country’s support for the fight against corruption.
On Thursday he sent out a cryptic tweet that seemed to mock Kenya’s leaders who attended the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.
He said, “Kenyan leaders are praying and asking for forgiveness for the sin of thievery at the 17th annual National Prayer Breakfast. What a good start to take the nation on the path of prosperity the Wananchi deserve. We must all do our part.”
Last week the envoy warned that corrupt Kenyans will neither be allowed into the US nor be allowed to pay for their children’s education there.
The ambassador, while attending the Junior Achievement Organisation’s 100 years celebration on May 17, said the ‘big fish’ get away with theft of billions whereas the common mwananchi is brutally punished for the theft of smaller amounts of money.
“You cannot allow somebody to steal Sh20 billion and fine them Sh10 billion. We deal with thieves in a very brutal way, not even according to the law,” he said.
“Somehow, we tolerate the theft of billions in Kenya. If we stop tolerating thievery, Kenya will be a shining star for democracy and prosperity in Africa.”