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Interior PS Karanja Kibicho says DP Ruto lacked 'necessary' papers for travel

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto lacked the necessary travel documents to make the Uganda trip on Monday, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has said.

In an interview with The Standard, Kibicho said that would be the only thing that would block the Deputy President from travelling abroad.

However, the Interior PS did not reveal the specific document that Ruto lacked, saying the DP was best placed to issue the clarification.

In an interview on Inooro FM yesterday morning, Ruto claimed that he was blocked from travelling ostensibly because he lacked clearance for the trip.

He claimed that it was the first time he had been asked to furnish such clearance in his nine years as deputy president.

“You become a civil servant by choice and once you become a civil servant, there are certain requirements that are attached to such choice,” said Kibicho.

According to the PS, such clearance would be issued by a civil servant’s boss and sent to the Head of Public Service, seemingly alluding to the fact that the president was not aware of his deputy’s mission. He said that clearance is needed for public and private engagements.

“Necessary travel documents are made available at the point of departure. I don’t know whether or not they were made available. And whether some people are exempted – that is not for me to know,” said Kibicho, adding that the responsibility to check such documents rested with Immigration officers at the point of departure.

Individual responsibility

Kibicho further denied being involved in blocking the DP’s trip by issuing directives to Immigration officers, saying that if they had let anyone travel without the necessary documents they would have borne individual responsibility.

“I have never called anyone, I did not call anyone and I will never call anyone. Dr Fred Matiang’i (Interior Cabinet Secretary) has not called anyone either,” he said.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Kibicho said that civil servants had become soft targets of politicians since they lacked the “political platforms to defend themselves”.

“One day when we are out of the civil service, we will write about these ‘holier than thou’ individuals... These people who throw dirt at us should not think we do not have stories to tell around them... We will tell those stories at the right time,” he said.?

Ruto’s travel party had claimed that he made frantic phone calls in the five hours he was stuck at the VVIP wing at Wilson Airport. Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and his Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi claimed Ruto called a senior Immigration official to shed light on the directive.

Received a directive

“As we waited there, the Immigration official told the DP that he had received a directive from a senior official at the Interior ministry not to clear him,” claimed Nyoro.

Sudi claimed Immigration officials informed them that their passports could not be stamped.

“I informed the DP, who called the senior Immigration official to inquire why this was happening. The officer told the DP he had received instructions from above. The DP then called the senior Interior officer who didn’t answer but called back and denied giving instructions, instead saying it was an official at the Head of Public Service,” he said. Nyoro claimed:

“All these calls were being made when we were there.” The standoff lasted for five hours.

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