14 September 2017

Kenya: State Bans Civil Servants From Travelling Abroad

State House has put a curfew to foreign travels by government officials.

In a letter to all Cabinet secretaries, the Attorney General and principal secretaries, the head of public service who is also President Uhuru Kenyatta's chief of staff, Joseph Kinyua says no government official will be allowed to leave the country without clearance by the president.

"This is to notify you that it has been decided, until further advised otherwise, no government official will travel outside the country without clearance by the president," Mr Kinyua says in the letter which is also copied to the Director of Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa.


"For avoidance of any doubt, the officials in reference include Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and officers in ministries, chief executive officers of parastatals and their officers and Board of Directors of parastatals," the letter bearing September 13 date adds.

It has always been the policy of the government to curb foreign travel by its officers, who are often required to obtain clearance from the head of Public Service to travel out of the country. It is not however clear as to what could have prompted the reminder at this time.

The letter, though not addressed to independent offices and constitutional commissions, however comes just a month after a commissioner with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Dr Roselyn Akombe was temporarily denied exit at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport ostensibly because she had no clearance from the Office of the President to travel abroad.

Dr Akombe was travelling to the US when the incident took place. Shortly after, human rights activist Maina Kiai was also temporarily blocked by immigration officials.


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