Foreign travel ban for civil servants

The government has banned all civil servants from travelling outside the country.

The decision was revealed in a letter sent to various ministries, which were consequently directed to communicate the directive to their staff.

A letter from the Education ministry, seen Saturday by the Nation and addressed to all vice chancellors and principals of their constituent colleges, read in part: “This is to notify you that it has been decided until further advised otherwise, no government official will travel outside the country.”

The letter, titled “travel outside the country”,  is dated September 20 and signed by Mrs A Mworia.

The ban, in this ministry, is expected to affect several lecturers many of whom travel outside the country to attend academic conferences, supervise students or even for research.

CRITICISED

On Saturday, Universities Academic Staff Union Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga criticised the ban, describing it as a disservice to the education fraternity.

Mr Wasonga said unlike politicians, lecturers were academicians who travel around the world for research and the ban would hamper this.

“We oppose that ban and as a union, we will make our formal objection to the government,” Mr Wasonga told the Nation.

The official added: “Some lecturers have students that they supervise outside the country. When you ban them from travelling, who are you punishing?”

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

He said most of the trips lecturers make outside the country were not sponsored by the government hence the decision was misplaced.

On September 13, State House banned foreign travel 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 said 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 said in the letter which is also copied to the Director of Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa.

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