Kenya has protested at the decision by US government to issue a travel ban to Mombasa on fear of a terror attack.
The government has described the move as "economic sabotage". Acting head of public service Francis Kimemia in a joint statement with Tourism minister Dan Mwadzo yesterday in Mombasa said the ban was unfortunate as Kenya is working hard to root out terrorism.
He said that the government had written to the US embassy in Nairobi demanding the ban be lifted. "The travel ban is reckless, reckless and uncalled for. It's very alarming for the US to issue such an alarming statement without consulting the government of Kenya. We find this as an economic sabotage," Kimemia said.
The ban comes barely two days after the US government issued a statement on its website warning its government officials in Mombasa to vacate the town and US citizens told to take caution over what they termed as possible terror attack in Mombasa. Kimemia said Kenya is playing a pivotal role in ensuring that terrorism and other forms of criminal activities threatening the country's security are minimised if not eliminated. "It's wrong for a country that Kenya is trying so much to protect its interests to issue such a statement. We wish to assure Kenyans and the entire world that Kenya is safe and that the government is working hard to eliminate terrorism acts in the region," Kimemia said
Dan Mwadzo on his side said that the move had dealt a blow to the tourism sector with close to 100 cancellations having been recorded since yesterday. "If the US government does not retract that statement then it means that tourism which contributes close to 40 per cent of the country's economy is going to be affected," Mwadzo said.
Kimemia also took the stage to defend the country's spy agency, National Security Intelligence service over claims of laxity saying they were competent. "NSIS has a well elaborated capacity to monitor security situation in the country. Our standards meet international threshold," Kimemia added. This comes a day after Gatanga MP and presidential hopeful presidential hopeful Peter Kenneth slammed the spy agency of laxity over what that terrorists were finding their into the country with ease.