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US Embassy ‘shifts goalposts’ over Kisumu travel advisory

The US Embassy now says it did not suggest there would be chaos in Kisumu during the electioneering period. In a statement on Wednesday, the Embassy observed its earlier correspondence in which it advised its personnel against visiting the lakeside city was not an indictment.

The Embassy clarified it had no prior information to suggest the situation in Kisumu, or in any other parts of Kenya, has been adversely affected by election preparations ahead of the August 9, 2022 polls.

The Embassy also observed Kisumu is a key location in the relationship between the USA and Kenya.

“Kisumu hosts a significant number of US Embassy personnel and is a frequent travel destination for American citizens,” the statement read in part.

“The US Department of State has no greater responsibility than the safety and security of US citizens overseas and routinely issues Security Alerts surrounding elections, health conditions, and extreme weather, ensuring US citizens have information that helps inform travel plans.”

The statement warning Embassy personnel from visiting Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city, and the home turf of Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga, attracted the wrath of county governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.

Nyong’o argued the area had enjoyed peace over the campaign period and questioned the timing behind the decision.

He also wondered why the information had not been briefed to him of the security apparatus in the country in order to deal with any issues if they arise.