Switzerland denies visa to
Francis Luchivya, Nairobi, Kenya
Wednesday 5 March 2008
(Ed. Note: Something is not clear here: Apparently Martha Karua
did show the media in Nairobi a copy of her valid visa for
Switzerland. It was aired also on KTN. So, the question is, if
that was a fake copy and she lied to the media or if the Swiss are
not telling the right story to news writers like Francis Luchivya.
Switzerland and all the other countries should come crystal-clear
on that, since Kenyans have a right to know who of their people is
persona non grata in which country!)
Switzerland has translated her travel ban for Kenyan leaders
into practice by refusing a visa to minister Martha Karua who was
to attend a conference on human rights in Geneva Switzerland.
The Minister was to attend an international forum dubbed 'Session
of State Counsel Law' in Geneva that is scheduled to kick off
tomorrow. The Minister had applied for the visa on Tuesday.
Kenya's delegation to the forum is headed by her Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
As if that was not enough, her son, a university student in
Australia had his re-entry to Australia at the end of his stay in
Kenya denied. As if this was not enough, more disaster has been
visiting her. Another of her kids was deported from another
For Martha Karua, disaster has come following disaster. After
being spurned by bandit Kibaki before he signed the power-sharing
arrangement, she is devastated. Ms Karua, one of the hardliners of
the bandit regime has been ruffling the Eminent African leaders
the wrong way. She was missing in action on Friday when the
mediators resumed their places at the Annan table. She was
reportedly livid, and said as much to Wetangula because after
being instructed to stone-wall the mediation efforts, Kibaki
melted the walls that stood in the way of a political settlement,
albeit without consulting her.
Switzerland, one of the vociferous foreign powers that was
insisting on a settlement. It will be remembered that the wealthy
Alpian federal state had threatened to follow the American cue and
impose visa bans on anybody who was perceived to be adopting a
hardline position on the mediation talks. This frustration of
Karua comes as music to the ears of all patriotic Kenyans. She has
no respect for anybody. The other day she was reported to have
told off her colleagues from th bandit government, Prof Sam Ongeri
and Mutula Kilonzo. Apparently, Mutula let the cat out of the bag
when he insinuated that Ongeri was hurt by the exchanges. 'You
have never seen Ongeri as sad as this', he had said.
Ms Karua was on the BBC's hardtalk immediately after the election
to defend the bandits. In a very articulate and strong-headed
manner, she told off the former British High Commissioner to Kenya
Edward Clay. At the interview, she even hinted that Clay was
persona non grata in Kenya. Of course at that time Clay had no
communication of his banning from Kenya. Later he was to be told
by the Kenyan Embassy officials at St James Park that he was
indeed banned from entering Kenya. She had goofed.
Hot on the heals of that Karua adopted an eloquent posture,
arguing at every TV talk-show that the ODM was free to go to court.
Of course she knew where that theatre was going to end with a
pliant court. The hearing was to be open and fair but she was
going to write the ruling at SH and have it read. Na mta do? Well,
now things are collapsing all around her. With her children
barricaded in Kenya and herself tethered in Kirinyaga, she is
going to become more rabid.
Meanwhile, reports reaching us indicate that more hardliners are
marked and will soon find themselves isolated much like Karua. Ms
Karua can hardly travel to Europe and she certainly now remembers
that ambassadors are not junior officials in the pecking order
after all. They speak with authority and apart from the president,
nobody else can address a meeting and say 'my government', except
an ambassador. This part of diplomatic etiquette, the former
junior magistrate needs to take in her Civics 101.