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Friday, December 21, 2007

Mwiraria & Biwott banned from Britain

Cabinet minister David Mwiraria and the immediate former Keiyo South MP, Nicholas Biwott, have been barred from traveling to the United Kingdom.

Also barred are the Charterhouse Bank managing director, Sanjay Kumar Ramniklal, and his brother, Manoj Ramniklal Panacha Shah of Kingsway Tyres. A travel advisory has been circulated to five international airlines that depart from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.

Airline sources confirmed yesterday that they received an ‘Immigration Alert’ from the British High Commission in Nairobi informing them of the cancellation of UK visas for the four individuals. In a letter headed "Alert" to the airlines and exclusively obtained, the Commission stated: "The above named were issued with UK visas. However, these visas have now been cancelled and are no longer valid for travel to the United Kingdom.

"I would be grateful if an alert be placed on your systems and the relevant staff be notified. Please contact the Visa Section at the British High Commission immediately on the above numbers if a date of proposed travel to the UK is known, or if they are encountered at the airport".

The letter contained the full names of the four individuals and their passport numbers; Biwott (D007***), Manoj (B093***), Mwiraria (D008***) and Sanjay (B068***). Contacted for comment over the travel ban, the British High Commission spokesperson, Charley Williams, said: "We cannot comment on individuals or provide names". However, she added: "Early this year we decided to make full use of our immigration rules to deny individuals entry to the UK in full support of efforts to combat corruption here".

Mwiraria joins his former colleague, Chris Murungaru, in the list of senior individuals in the Kibaki administration barred from traveling to the UK. Mwiraria resigned after being linked to a corruption scandal that shook the Kenyan government. Then, Mwiraria said he was stepping aside in order to clear his name after being mentioned in a report by the Government’s former anti-corruption chief, John Githongo.

The multi-million-dollar ‘Anglo-Leasing’ corruption scam involved contracts for a company that existed only in name. Mwiraria, one of President Kibaki’s key allies, has said the allegations against him are false.

The United Kingdom becomes the second country that has slapped a ban on Biwott. Two years ago, the former powerful minister was barred from entering the US after the American government revoked his entry visa.

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