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Govt to tighten overseas travel for county leaders

25 October 2014, 07:38

Nairobi - The government said on Friday it will streamline overseas trips for county leaders and employees to prevent a diplomatic spat with foreign allies over unethical practices.

Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International trade, Amina Mohammed, said the central government will regulate foreign travel of county executives in line with the constitution.

"My ministry has set up an office to facilitate harmonious relationship between the national and county governments on foreign policy matters. This office is charged with organizing foreign travel for county officials," Mohammed said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Several Kenyan foreign allies had earlier expressed concerns over haphazard visits by county delegations. The National Assembly and watchdogs have also complained that county leaders had wasted massive resources on foreign travel.

Mohammed urged county executives to adhere to diplomatic guidelines before embarking on foreign tours.

Also read: Nine governors jet back after two week trip in Germany

"There have been increased and uncoordinated foreign travels by county officials hence the concern by some countries regarding our conduct. There is need to organize foreign visits in a professional manner and in line with diplomatic norms," she said, adding the ministry has commenced sensitization workshops with county governments to enlighten them on the tenets of foreign travel.

Mohammed said all county officials must liaise with the ministry to facilitate issuance of travel documents.

"A 90-day notification of intention to visit should be submitted to the host country. A concept note on purpose of the visit and bio data of delegation members is a key requirement," said Mohamed.

She added that county officials should be briefed on diplomatic etiquette before departing to a foreign country. Mohamed also said the county governments should liaise with the national government before signing business deals with foreign countries.

"Foreign Policy is not a devolved function and any form of representation abroad should be scrutinized and approved by the national government," Mohammed added.

 - Xinhua

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