FORMER US ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger violated diplomatic etiquette when he handed 'crucial information' on Charter House Bank directly to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.
Assistant Justice Minister William Cheptumo told Parliament that Ranneberger should have handed the dossier to KACC through the ministry of foreign affairs.
In November 24, 2010 Ranneberger visited the KACC offices and handed then Director Patrick Lumumba crucial information on the closed Charter House Bank. Ranneberger told Lumumba the decision was part of his government response to demands that the names of those banned be disclosed.
"As I am talking to you now I have given the names to the Government and it is the one to decide whether to make it public or not," Ranneberger told Lumumba. But yesterday, Cheptumo agreed with Kilome MP Haroun Mwau that under the Vienna Convention of 1961 accredited foreign envoys are not supposed to deal directly with the government departments, but through the foreign ministry.
"It is true that Ranneberger visited the KACC offices, but after a second look, he should have followed the right procedure. All ambassadors know the procedure," he said. Mwau had sought a clarification from the minister on whether Ranneberger had filed a formal complaint at the KACC accusing Kenyan nationals of various criminal activities.
Mwau also sought to know from the minister whether KACC conducted comprehensive investigations and the action taken. But the minister told the House that KACC had handed over the dossier to the Criminal Investigations department for further investigations. Cheptumo confirmed that CID have carried out investigations on the matter, but not KACC. "I have no report to table to the House because KACC didn't undertake the investigations. The right place to go is the police department," he said.