News 2008


Kabando: I’m on US travel ban threat list

Daily Nation


13. 02. 2008

The Mukurwe-ini Member of Parliament, Mr Kabando wa Kabando, has publicly declared that he is among the 13 politicians and businesspeople facing an imminent ban to the United States for their alleged role in the post-election violence.

The newly-elected MP said he had received a letter from American ambassador Michael Ranneberger.

The letter, he said, asked him to “demonstrate in writing his effort and achievements in promoting peace”.

Dated February 4, this year, the letter states that there are indications that Mr Kabando may be involved in “supporting, inciting and perpetuating” inter-ethnic violence in the country.

It goes on to say that he and his family members might be denied visas to travel to the US if he was found to be promoting violence.

But Mr Kabando dismissed the letter, saying he cannot sit and write an essay to Mr Ranneberger as he was not subject to his jurisdiction.

The MP, who had harsh words for the ambassador, said the letter was uncalled for and shocking because it was not based on any evidence that he was involved in fomenting the violence.

He accused the envoy of targeting supporters of President Kibaki without any evidence.

Check-off system

Contrary to the accusations by the envoy, Mr Kabando said he was involved in campaigning for peace as well as contributing money through a check-off system in Parliament to assist the displaced.

“The conduct of the ambassador is unbecoming.

“Similar letters sent by you to my colleagues on the Government side seem to suggest ethnic profiling.

“You appear to equate those assisting victims of violence and who support Government to be the perpetrators of violence,” Mr Kabando said.

Mr Kabando revealed that he was meant to visit the US as a guest speaker during a graduation ceremony at the State University of New York later in the year where he was a Masters student.

He had, however, not applied for a visa. Asked whether he would go ahead and appeal for the visa, Mr Kabando said he was no longer keen to travel to the US following the new development.

He called on his colleagues on both sides of the House, who might have received the travel ban threat letters to come out publicly since the matter was no longer personal.